If you have been awarded a personal injury settlement from a car accident and you owe child support, you may be wondering whether your past due child support payments will affect your settlement. In short, yes. A lien can be placed on your settlement from a car accident, which would garnish funds from it to pay for past due child support.
Texas requires that people who owe past due child support to pay it. They want to make sure that both parents are responsible for providing for their children. Texas also wants to make sure that the children are properly taken care of and have what they need. Therefore, if you are involved in a car accident and are to receive compensation for your injuries, this compensation actually may end up going to pay for past due child support. However, an experienced car accident attorney can help assist you in removing the lien or dramatically reducing the amount that the past due child support lien receives.
How Does a Lien Work?
If you will be getting a settlement soon, then it is important for you to know exactly how a lien works. A lien is a legal right attached to an asset in order to secure payment for a debt. The state has the power to garnish income that you receive if you are behind on your child support payments. The other parent can request legal help in order to enforce child support. This is how a lien is placed.
You will receive a letter in the mail if you owe child support. If the state intends to take part of your settlement, then they will notify you and the insurance company. The insurance company can work out the payments with an attorney. It is vitally important that you retain the services of an attorney so that they can work with the insurance company to make them understand the extent of your car accident damage and the extent of your injuries and medical bills, now and in the future.
Which Bills Will Be Paid First?
Your attorney’s fees and medical expenses will be paid before the rest of the balance is re-distributed to pay your child support. The issue is whether or not future medical treatment will be required for the injuries sustained and what that cost may be in the future.
What to Do if You Are Not Working?
If you are unable to pay your child support because you are out of work, then you will need to petition the court. You may be able to get your payments postponed until you get your settlement. You may also be able to work out a payback plan in order to prevent your past-due child support from being taken out of your settlement check. Your attorney will be able to provide expertise in this area and what the proper path forward is to make sure you do not experience financial hardship.
Will I Need to Back All of My Past-Due Child Support?
You will likely have to pay back all of your past-due child support payments. Child support is not something that you can easily get out of paying. After your attorneys and medical expenses have been paid, the rest of your settlement can go towards your child support. That is why it is a good idea for you to work with a car accident attorney. You may be able to get the amount that you owe reduced.
What Should I Do If I Cannot Pay My Child Support?
In most cases, you can get your child support payments modified every three years. The reason that child support is often modified is because people’s situation often changes. People may lose a job or get laid off. They may be injured which prevents them from working. There are many reasons to why child support can be modified.
If you cannot afford your current payments, then it is a good idea to request to have your payments modified. Your attorney is willing to work with you in whatever way that they can to make sure that your payments do not create a financial burden for you.
However, if you are involved in car accident which results in you receiving compensation, this financial award may be garnished by a lien to pay back past due child support payments. A car accident attorney may be able to reduce the lien through negotiation and also presenting evidence to the courts showing why the lien needs to be reduced or eliminated.
If you are in need of a car accident attorney, then you will need to contact our law offices today and get a free consultation. We will start working on the case as soon as possible. You can call us at one of the following numbers.
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