Texas plans to link the two this winter
The Texas Attorney General’s Office has come up with a new way to penalize those late on child support payments. Starting this winter, they’ll be pursuing an initiative that will block vehicle registration renewals for parents who are behind on payments. This will be in effect for Texans who are six or more months late on child support starting with December registration renewals.
And because the Texas Attorney General’s Office has the power to institute this initiative without corresponding legislation, they can legally revoke registrations without due process. Adding this to the fact that the office is already able to revoke driver’s licenses (professional and recreational licenses, too), we can’t help but wonder if this is an idea that only looks good on paper.
We believe that child support payments need to be paid for the sake of the children. But doesn’t taking away transportation to a job create a larger roadblock to turning in payments? There are countless reasons why child support goes unpaid for six months or more. One of the more common reasons? Because the parent can’t afford to pay, not because the parent is purposely refusing to pay or avoiding it.
Another concern is that the initiative will only apply to vehicle registration renewals. This means that it won’t be enforced on new vehicle registrations and might mean the initiative will disproportionately affect lower income populations.
In our opinion, this is an initiative with good intentions and potentially rough consequences for people who are already in unfortunate circumstances.
What do you think about revoking registration renewals for people behind on child support payments — good idea or bad idea?