The most common question I am asked is whether past due child support can be taken off someone’s account with the Texas Attorney General. The answer is, sometimes you can.
Many parents fall behind on child support payments and then have a hard time catching back up. Those unpaid amounts sit as a negative in the account and slowly gather interest. If payments are not made for long periods of time then the outstanding balance can be quite substantial. The Texas Attorney General’s office will eventually come knocking for its money if it can’t collect it through income tax refund withholding or other means.
To reduce the amount of past due child support you need the agreement of three persons: (1) the other parent to whom the child support is owed. It is important to note that if the other parent is unwilling to waive the back owed support there are only limited ways to reduce the arrears; (2) the Attorney General working the case; and (3) the Judge signing off on everything. If the other parent agrees to waive his/her portion of the outstanding fees then an attorney general may go along with this decision. The other parent can agree to take away parts of the outstanding balance or wipe away all of it. It’s their decision since it’s technically money owed to them, which they have the authority to decline. The attorney general attending to the case can then draw the paperwork up for all the parties and mention a reduction in the past-due balance. If the Judge follows this agreement made by everyone then the amounts will be taken out of their computer system.
Keep in mind that in many cases the principal AND interest owed to the parent can be waived, however, there are medical costs that usually cannot be waived. These are debts owed to the state and they typically never agree to reduce these amounts.
If you are going to a court hearing for an Attorney General Child Support case, you need to be careful what you agree to and what you sign away. The right moves can result in a very favorable case for the parent who has a substantial past-due child support amount.