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Collecting child support and the DPPA

If a Texas parent moves out of state in order to avoid paying child support, the other parent might be able to seek punishment for that parent and possible restitution using the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act. Since 1998, this federal law has helped punish parents who either owe more than $5,000 in child support and have failed to pay support for over a year or who owe more than $10,000 and have failed to pay child support for more than two years.

A parent may file a child support case involving the DPPA in the jurisdiction where they or the child lives or in any federal court. The DPPA is specifically aimed at parents who have left the state or who travel between states.

Under the DPPA, parents might be required to pay back the child support owed. A first offender could also be jailed for up to six months while a second offender could spend up to two years incarcerated.

Parents who are getting a divorce might be concerned about child support payment. A legally binding agreement is important to protect both parents and children. Support is usually calculated based on income. A parent who has a change in income and who can no longer pay the amount originally agreed must go to court to have the amount changed. This is called a modification and may be granted if the court agrees that the parent has had a material change in circumstances that qualifies them to pay less in child support. Falling behind on support does not mean the other parent can interfere in visitation. A parent who needs to collect support may want to speak to their local child support enforcement agency about the options. Before a law like the DPPA comes into play, there might be other options including garnishing the other parent's wages.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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