The State of Texas has a new tactic to punish parents who fall too far behind on child support payments - blocking their vehicle registration renewal.
This latest effort to ensure compliance with child support orders will go into place later this year, impacting drivers whose registrations are up for renewal in December, according to a spokesperson with the Texas Attorney General’s office.
The move will only impact people who have gone at least six months without making a payment, said Janece Rolfe, of the AG’s Child Support Division.
“If they have not made any payments in six months, I think that speaks for itself,” Rolfe told NBC DFW.
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Already, the attorney general’s office is able to revoke driver’s, professional and recreational licenses of child support evaders.
A Tarrant County family law attorney told NBC DFW he initially thought the AG’s decision was a great one.
“Anytime you can get child support from people who aren’t paying child support it’s a great idea,” said Brian McGrath, of McGrath & McGrath.
But upon further review, McGrath noted he is concerned that some people who aren’t paying child support already have proven they can go out of their way to avoid their responsibilities, using tactics including under reporting their earnings to the IRS and taking cash jobs so they will not have documented income.
“I believe that the good people that are in a bad situation will be hurt,” McGrath said, referring to parents who have fallen behind due to unforeseen financial circumstances. “And I believe that the bad people that don’t want to pay, it won’t affect them much at all.”