When a parent doesn't pay child support, there can be many consequences for both parent and child.

The Child Loses Support

Children do best when they receive the emotional and financial support of both parents. When children do not receive consistent support, it can affect their quality of life.

The Office of the Attorney General Enforces the Order

When child support payments aren't made, the Office of the Attorney General can take many actions to enforce the court order. These can include court action, license suspension, credit reporting, passport denial and more.

License Suspension

The OAG works with over 60 licensing agencies and can request that these agencies suspend your drivers, professional and hunting and fishing licenses, if you fail to pay your child support.

Passport Denial

The OAG can deny a noncustodial parent a new or renewed passport.


The OAG can file a lien on properties, bank accounts, retirement plans, life insurance plans, personal injury claims, insurance settlements or awards and other assets if a noncustodial parent fails to pay their child support.

Credit Bureau Reporting

The Office of the Attorney General is required by law to report the amount of child support owed and the amount paid to the credit reporting agencies.

Lottery Intercept

Lottery prizes issued by the Texas Comptroller's Office are subject to being intercepted and applied toward child, medical and dental support arrears.

Civil or Criminal Contempt

In civil contempt cases, the court will assess a specific number of days and/or a fine for each missed payment. The sentence must be served even if full payment is made. 

In criminal contempt cases, an obligor is sentenced to jail until he/she complies with the court order. The order usually states the obligor is to pay a certain amount called the "purge" amount or pay all of the unpaid child support.