Serving Clients Across Texas

Can Your License Be Suspended to Enforce Family Support Orders?

Parents have a legal duty to support their children by providing them with necessities such as clothing, food, shelter, education, and health care. The State of Texas has a governmental interest in making sure parents honor their parental duties toward their children.

Different Texas laws reflect this public policy interest, such as the law keeping a parent’s estate on the hook for child support payments after their death and the law prohibiting premarital agreements from adversely affecting a parent’s right to receive child support. Another rule that illuminates the importance of child support is the law authorizing courts to suspend any licenses of a party if they fall far behind on their child support payments.

License Suspensions for Enforcing Child Support Orders

Under Texas Family Code § 232.003, a court or child support enforcement agency can suspend someone’s licenses under the following circumstances:

  • Failing to comply with a child support order
  • Failing to comply with a subpoena issued in a parentage or child support proceeding
  • Failing to comply with a possession order for access to a child

With regard to a party’s noncompliance with a child support order, the court can suspend licenses if the party owes more than three month’s worth of child support and failed to comply with a repayment schedule for becoming current on their support obligations. Texas courts may also prevent a party with overdue child support obligations from initially obtaining a license or renewing a license that is about to expire.

Texas Family Code § 232.001 defines “license” to include any license, permit, or other authorization that a licensing authority issue in order for individuals to legally do something. As a result, a court can suspend almost any conceivable type of license for falling behind on, or refusing to pay, child support, including licenses for:

  • Motor vehicle operation
  • Business operation
  • Hunting
  • Alcohol sales
  • Firearms carrying
  • Legal practice
  • Medical practice
  • Dental practice
  • Accounting practice

Vacating or Stay a License Suspension Order

Under Texas Family Code § 232.13(a), a court can vacate or stay a license suspension order through compliance with their legal obligations.

License suspension orders may be vacated or stayed if:

  • The noncomplying party paid all overdue child support
  • The noncomplying party complied with a reissued subpoena
  • The noncomplying party allowed access to a child under a possession order
  • A child support enforcement agency finds good cause for vacating or staying the order

Get Comprehensive Legal Counsel at O’Neil Wysocki, P.C.

Our legal team at O’Neil Wysocki, P.C. can help you through divorce issues, including proceedings for enforcing court orders after noncompliance. Whether you are seeking enforcement or defending against it, you can benefit from the sound advice from one of our dedicated attorneys. We can guide you through complicated legal matters so you can reach an adequate understanding about the most important elements of your case.

Call us at (972) 852-8000 or contact our office onlinetoday for a consultation.