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Update: Law expanding TX child support collections now in effect

If you are listed as a contract employee and you have child support obligations, you should be looking at your paycheck to see if there are any new deductions being taken out. As of the first of this month, the Texas Attorney General's Office has the power to make sure that its child support collection efforts account for contract workers.

Regular readers of our blog may recall that back in April we posted about legislation that had been introduced in the state legislature during the last session. Senate Bill 1727's purpose was to make it easier for the Attorney General's Child Support Division to track and enforce child support orders on employees who might be misclassified by employers as contractors.

Why would this be a problem? Well, some experts suggest that misclassification tactics allow for wage payments to be made under the table. And such surreptitious payments complicate child support collections through wage garnishment. Texas collected a staggering $3.8 billion last year in child support payments. Most of those funds were collected through wage withholding.

The new legislation passed during the session. The governor signed it into law in June. According to a summary published by the Bill Lookup service for the Texas Legislature, the measure amends Family Code provisions to allow the attorney general's office to seek changes in child support collections, coordinate more easily with other states to locate those owing support and gives the office more leeway to file child support review orders.

Laws change year to year, as the history of this measure reflects. Anyone with questions about the status of child support payments or enforcement options should meet with experienced legal counsel to get guidance.

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