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Child support payments increase with car registration program

A Texas program that does not permit people who owe child support to renew their vehicle registrations if they have fallen behind in the previous six months has been effective according to the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division. A press release reports that $1.7 million has been paid in child support since the program's implementation in September 2016.

The office reported an average of $252 per case was collected, but $54,000 was the highest amount. A total of 3,852 parents had paid on 4,634 cases as of the end of March. For every $1 spent running the program, it collected more than $12.

The program sends a letter to parents six months before their vehicle registration is due for renewal. This gives parents time to make a payment plan. It is not necessary for parents to pay off the full amount before they can register their vehicles, but they do have to honor the payment plan. In order to get the program in place, it was first necessary to have the legislature give authority to deny the registration. Both Florida and North Carolina have similar programs, but the attorney general's office reports that this is the most successful of the programs.

Once a decision has been made by parents who are getting a divorce, child support will be ordered by the court if the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own. Child support is calculated based on income although the court may take a variety of other factors into account as well. As this program demonstrates, there are a number of ways that a parent may be compelled to pay child support although the custodial parent cannot deny access to the child.

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