Enforcing a child support order against a person who fails or refuses to pay can become time-consuming and expensive. Texas family law provides multiple options for enforcing a child support order. It also allows a person enforcing a child support order to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if the court finds the other party “failed to make child support payments.” TEX. FAM. CODE § 157.167(a).
When a child support payment is not timely made, it becomes a final judgment by operation of law. TEX. FAM. CODE § 157.261(a) In a recent case, the mother sought a writ of execution on the final judgment that arose as a result of the father’s failure to pay the child support. The trial court found she had “a valid enforceable judgment” that was “wholly unsatisfied and subject to execution.” The constable took possession of certain of the father’s property and held an execution sale. Both the mother and father sought disbursement of the proceeds of the sale.
There was additional litigation related to the mother’s collection efforts. The trial court ultimately ordered the father to pay $30,675 to the mother for attorney’s fees. The trial court based the attorney’s fees on the attorney’s affidavit and timesheet. The father appealed.