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Failure to Pay Child Support is a Crime

by | Oct 11, 2017 | Child Support

CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT

Intentionally or knowingly failing to provide support for a child who is younger than 18 years of age, or who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child, is classified as criminal nonsupport. For the purposes of this law, “child” includes a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has either been acknowledged by the actor or has been established in a civil suit. A criminal nonsupport offense is a state jail felony.

An offender can be convicted of criminal nonsupport based on testimony alone, but providing proof that the offender could not provide support for the child is an affirmative defense.

The pendency of a prosecution under this law does not affect the power of a court to enter an order for child support under the Family Code. This means that an individual who has an obligation to pay child support could be prosecuted criminally and at the same time be held in contempt for non-payment of child support under the Texas Family Code.

FAILURE TO PAY LEGAL CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
OFFENSE

It is a federal offense for any person who:

  • Willfully fails to pay a support obligation for a child who resides in another State, if the obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 1 year, or is greater than $5000;
  • Travels in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to evade a support obligation, if the obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 1 year, or is greater than $5000; or
  • Willfully fails to pay a support obligation for a child who resides in another State, if the obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 2 years, or is greater than $10,000.
PRESUMPTION

It is presumed that the obligor has the ability to pay the support obligation for the time period ordered based on the existence of the support obligation in effect for the time period charged in the indictment or information.

PUNISHMENT

The punishment for an offense under this section is:

  • In the case of a first offense under section (1) above, a fine, imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both; and
  • In the case of an offense under section (2) or (3), or a second or subsequent offense under section (1), a fine, imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.
MANDATORY RESTITUTION

Upon a conviction under this section, the court shall order restitution in an amount equal to the total unpaid support obligation as it exists at the time of sentencing.

At the Law Office of Tim Whitten, we help families of all backgrounds handle child support issues. Attorney Tim Whitten has practiced family law since 1992 and is a certified Family Law Specialist under the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

For a confidential, one-on-one consultation at our Austin law firm, contact us online or call 512-478-1011.

Contact Us Today

For a Confidential Consultation

Contact Us

512-478-1011

7500 Rialto Blvd., Bldg. 1
Suite 250
Austin, TX 78735
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Family Focused.
Solution Oriented.

Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Resolving family law matters while preserving family relationships.

Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Our goal is to help folks resolve their family law issues in a way that protects their interests and preserves their family ties. Most family law cases can be difficult from an emotional and financial perspective. We believe in reducing the emotional and financial stress by offering alternative options to resolving their disputes, such as mediation. We enjoy helping people who are interested in working together to find creative solutions to their circumstances.

We provide a variety of services to clients from all walks of life. We offer both full-scope and limited-scope representation so that you may choose the way you want to allocate your resources. We are open to exploring alternative fee arrangements, in appropriate cases. Contact us to inquire.

Helping You Pursue Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods

Too often clients in family law cases spend substantial sums of money arguing about issues in court and often feel worse at the end of their case than before they started. At The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C., we are sensitive to this reality. This is why we explore alternatives to the traditional litigation approach with each client as we help him or her identify long-term legal interests and goals. After our representation begins, we strive to be available and responsive to each client to ensure that we stay on track with that client’s interests and goals.

Contact the Law Office of Tim Whitten

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney and you believe that our philosophy may work for you, contact The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C. We are dedicated to helping you and your family move forward peacefully. Call 512-478-1011 to speak with our firm today.

MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Our primary attorney, Tim Whitten, is certified as a Family Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This means that he has experience in multiple case types, demonstrated proficiency, and mastery in some of the technical aspects of family law.

Contact Us Today

For a Confidential Consultation

Contact Us

512-478-1011

7500 Rialto Blvd., Bldg. 1
Suite 250
Austin, TX 78735
Map + Directions

Family Focused.
Solution Oriented.