Child Support: Reasons Payments Get Complicated or Delayed

Child support payments can become complicated for different reasons. For example, a sudden change on the path of the non-custodial parent. This could include situations where the parent loses their job or experiences a reduction in income, making it difficult for them to meet their support obligations on time.

Another reason for delays could be administrative issues or errors in processing the payments within the child support system. Additionally, legal disputes, such as modifications to the child support order or disagreements over paternity, can also cause delays in payments.

It is however, important for both parents to communicate and address any issues promptly to ensure that child support payments are made on time and in the best interest of the child. Here are some common factors that contribute to the complexity of child support cases:

Systemic problems affect child support payments:

For example, a breach in information and other problems in the state’s computer program or system can result in incorrect information. The system is decades old and updating information is very tedious.

Inaccuracies or delay in information supply, can mean that a parent can suffer unlawfully or may lose support payments.
A project to upgrade the technology in Texas is over budget and behind schedule. This is making it hard to predict when the system will become more effective for parents and state employees.

So much money has gone in for upgrading the system but the state’s IT contractor continues to lag behind and legislators are reluctant to put in more money.

Payments Can be Stolen by Employers.

Parents who have child support payments pending from their paychecks are vulnerable to fraud and theft. A father in East Texas thought he was making his child support payments every month through payroll deductions, but found out his employer was not sending the money to his children.

The father put together that seven years support money of about $32,000 never got to his children. Further investigations shows the employer, who runs a small auto repair business, use to keep the money because “things were tight.”

Scenarios like this one are not new. Apparently, more than 70 percent of support payments are not paid in full or never get paid. According to an attorney’s quote by a Tyler, Texas, TV station, there are a growing number of cases involving small business persons withholding payments and not sending them to the attorney general’s office.

Interstate child support orders complicate matters

When a parent receiving child support no longer lives in the state where the order was issued, things can a bit difficult. For example, a Texas mother who receives support payments as a result of a court order in Washington stops receiving this money when her daughter turns 18.

The state of Washington says that support payments stops at 18 unless a child is still in school. The child can be schooling from home under Texas law after her 18th birthday. The mother has to comply with Washington’s home school law since the support order reflects Washington.

Parents Use The Independent Contractor Scheme to Avoid Paying For Support.

Another very common problem in collecting child support is that the paying parent disappears, stops working or, in the case of some Texas parents, becomes an independent contractor. When workers become independent contractors, they no longer receive wages because they are no longer employees.

Collecting child support from an independent contractor is not easy.

This arrangement works well for employers who wish to boycott payroll taxes and parents who wish to stop paying support. This support payments is not paid because there are no provisions for independent contractors to pay it.

A variation on this theme is the workers who receive cash or under the table, this makes it very difficult to find them. Parents who are suppose to receive child support may not have much any help in situations like these because the system is cumbersome and varies depending on where they live.

However, seek help from a divorce and family law attorney as it may be the best way to resolve problems with upkeep and support payments. Attorneys can file suit against nonpaying parents and employers that steal support payments. They can also hire investigators to track down missing parent that default consistently.

Get Clear on Details And Far When Negotiating Payments

One of the biggest causes of division when negotiating not just a divorce but also child support is not taking time to list out what the child support will actually cover.

One parent may assume it covers extracurricular activities, while the other may not. If you want to avoid conflict along the line, it is important to put in writing what expenses child support will cover and who will be paying for what.

Other parents encounter problems when they agree to split bigger expenses like private school tuition. Those expenses can change depending on which private school a child goes to.

Therefore, it is important to spell out specifically how much you are willing to pay. School, extracurriculars and other expenses also get more costly as kids get older, so you will want to keep that in mind as well.


The best thing to do in order to be safe and avoid unnecessary issues with child support payments, is to hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you in the negotiations for a fair outcome.

While doing so there is always a good firm whose major duty is to negotiate a fair agreement that best meets client’s goals. These firms also believe in the importance of reaching an agreement that is fair to both sides.

People who start getting greedy and ask for too much usually find out that it backfires. Extending the olive branch can go a long way in ensuring a peaceful process.

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