Fighting over money

How to Deal with an Ex Who Owes Child Support

If your ex-spouse is behind on child support payments, it can be an incredibly stressful and frustrating situation. Not receiving owed child support can put a major financial strain on the household with primary child custody. It can also breed resentment and negatively impact your ability to co-parent effectively.

When a co-parent owes substantial back child support, it’s important to address the issue productively. Here are some tips for how to deal with an ex who isn’t making the required child support payments in Fort Worth, Texas.

Understand the Reasons

It’s frustrating to be in this situation, but before tackling the issue with a Fort Worth divorce lawyer, try to understand why your co-parent has accrued child support debt.


Did they lose their job or experience a significant drop in income? Do they have an undiagnosed mental health issue like depression that makes it difficult to keep up with payments? Are they spending money irresponsibly?


Knowing the root cause can help you figure out the most effective solutions. If it’s a temporary loss of income, you may be able to work out a modified payment plan. Counseling or financial education classes could help if something like reckless spending is the issue.

Communicate Calmly

When initiating the conversation about back child support, keeping emotions in check is essential. After a divorce, feelings can remain tense, and this situation rarely eases that tension.

An accusatory or angry tone will likely make your co-parent defensive. Instead, calmly explain your concerns about the missed payments and how it’s impacting your household. Share how much is owed and ask if there are any hardships preventing them from paying.


Listen to their reasons without judgment and acknowledge any legitimate challenges they face. You're more likely to make progress with a two-way dialogue instead of a confrontation.

Draft a Formal Agreement

Work together to outline an affordable payment plan that addresses the arrears, even if it’s just $50 monthly. Get the agreement in writing or submit it to the court to formalize it. This creates accountability for your ex to start tackling what’s owed.


If their income has decreased substantially, they can petition the courts to lower the monthly payment amount. The formal legal process can take time, so a written side agreement keeps some payments coming in the interim.

Find Compromises

If your co-parent is still struggling after establishing a payment plan, discuss compromises. Could they provide needed items like clothes, school supplies or groceries instead of cash that month? Are they able to watch the children more to reduce your childcare costs?


With an open mindset, you may find solutions that provide some relief without waiving owed child support. Every little bit helps chip away at the debt.

Explore State Assistance

Research state-level child support enforcement remedies that can help collect what’s past due. Wage garnishment, tax refund interception, license suspension, and passport denial are examples of enforcement tools states can use to motivate payment of arrears.


Understanding these options gives you more leverage when negotiating since you can explain what the state of Texas can do.

Pursue Legal Remedies

If your ex continues to breach the child support order after reasonable efforts to get voluntary compliance, formal legal action from a Fort Worth family law attorney and the courts may be necessary. Through the court system, you can pursue contempt charges, garnished wages, liens on assets, and other consequences for nonpayment of court-ordered support.


The goal should be compliance, not punishment. But legal remedies provide a structured path to ensure financial support owed to your children is paid. Consult with an attorney in Fort Worth, TX to weigh the pros and cons of aggressive enforcement.

Settle Back Child Support with Nilsson Legal Group

Having a co-parent who owes substantial back child support often requires difficult conversations and uncomfortable situations.


But by using a mix of understanding, formal agreements, creative compromises and legal enforcement tools, you can work toward getting the child support compliance needed to provide stability for your kids.


With patience and an open mind, you can hopefully improve both the child support payments and co-parenting relationship over time.


However, if problems persist, rely on the Fort Worth divorce lawyers of Nilsson Legal Group. Our experience with child support and navigating your way to successful payments can help ease some of the tension you’re experiencing.

Contact us today to learn more about our services by calling our office located at 930 W. 1st St in Fort Worth. Our telephone number is (817)953-6688.

Mother holds son near during divorce argument

Are You Eligible for Spousal Support in Texas?

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, and one of the most critical aspects to address is spousal support, also known as alimony.

Spousal support is designed to provide financial assistance to a lower-earning spouse after the dissolution of a marriage.


However, obtaining spousal support in Texas is not automatic and requires meeting specific qualifications and demonstrating financial need. At Nilsson Legal Group, we aim to help all of our clients receive the most financial support possible from their divorce. Let’s examine the factors and considerations behind spousal support qualification in the Lone Star State.

Determine the Length of the Marriage

One of the primary considerations for spousal support eligibility in Texas is the duration of the marriage. Generally, a marriage must have lasted for a minimum of ten years to be eligible for spousal support.


In cases where the marriage lasted less than ten years, spousal support is less likely, but not impossible to obtain with the help of an experienced Fort Worth divorce lawyer.


Why does the length of marriage matter when determining spousal support? The length of the marriage is a crucial factor as it demonstrates the level of financial interdependence between the spouses during their time together.

Disparity in Income

The court will carefully assess the income and earning potential of both spouses when determining spousal support eligibility. The key objective is to identify a significant disparity in income between the two parties.


If you are a spouse that wants support, you and your legal team must demonstrate a genuine financial need, proving a lack of sufficient resources to maintain a standard of living comparable to that experienced during marriage.


Additionally, the court will evaluate the supporting spouse's ability to pay spousal support without experiencing undue financial hardship.

When determining spousal support, payments will either be 20 percent of the payor’s income or $5,000 a month; whichever is the lesser number is the amount paid.

Contribution to the Marriage

The contributions made by both spouses during the marriage will also be considered. These contributions extend beyond financial contributions and may include homemaking, child-rearing, and supporting the other spouse's education or career development.


The court will recognize and value these non-financial contributions when assessing spousal support eligibility. Therefore, if you already have child custody on the negotiation table, it’s likely that you can find an argument that makes spousal support a possibility.

Physical and Mental Health

The health and well-being of both spouses are important factors in determining spousal support. A spouse with a physical or mental health condition that limits their ability to work or secure adequate employment may have a stronger case for receiving spousal support.


Medical records and expert opinions may be used to substantiate claims regarding health-related limitations.

Property Division

Texas is a community property state, meaning that property acquired during the marriage is typically divided equally between the spouses during divorce proceedings. However, if a significant portion of the marital estate goes to one spouse due to factors like earning capacity or inheritances, the court may consider this when awarding spousal support.


Unequal property division can create a financial need for the lower-earning spouse, increasing the likelihood of spousal support being granted.

Job Training and Education

The court may also consider the requesting spouse's ability to become self-supporting in the future. If a spouse needs additional education or job training to secure gainful employment, the court may award temporary spousal support to facilitate this transition.


The objective is to help the recipient spouse become financially independent over time.

Best Move Toward Spousal Support Today

Qualifying for spousal support in Texas requires a careful examination of various factors and considerations.


Remember, every divorce case is unique, and the court's decisions will be based on the specific circumstances presented. By working with an experienced lawyer from Nilsson Legal Group and presenting a strong case, you can better position yourself for a favorable outcome in the aftermath of your divorce.


Don’t hope the courts fall in your favor, make it happen with Nilsson Legal Group. Schedule your free consultation today.
middle aged divorcees remarry

How Does Remarrying Impact Your Divorce Decree?

After your divorce, you may be tempted to jump into a new marriage or know that you plan on getting married again sometime in the future. However, changes in your marital status can result in changes to how you approach mandatory payments outlined in your divorce decree.