I bet you didn’t know you are a lien holder, did you? I’m not talking about holding a mortgage or something like that, but its similar. You are a child support lien holder, or that is, you already qualify as one ,you just haven’t executed it yet.
To explain, every month in which your ex doesn’t pay child support as ordered by a Texas Court, a child support judgment arises as a matter of law and you are authorized under the Texas Family Code to file a Child Support Lien to freeze assets and collect on that lien.
Child Support Liens are extremely useful since they can attach to all property except a homestead. This is different than other types of debts. You see, if you owe a debt on a credit card, that creditor can’t get to certain assets because they are considered “Exempt” under the Texas Property code. The Texas Family Code in conjunction with the Property code however makes an exception to these generous exemptions for child support debts. Child support can get to any property except the the Homestead. Property available for the taking includes, Social Security Benefits, Current Wages, Bank Accounts, Retirement Funds, Stocks, Business Interests, tools of the trade, Personal Injury claims, Lawsuit Claims, Cars, Boats, Vacation Homes, even food in the cupboard (but we won’t do that…Well, not unless there is a high resale value, but in most cases the deadbeat obligor won’t have an vast wine collection or something of the like) but as you can see the list of property at your disposal goes is pretty broad.
When used effectively, the child support lien can be a tremendous element of surprise that will not only freeze and preserve assets but will also knock your ex off their feet. Here is the scenario I like to create. First, I obtain all the necessary information from my client about their ex. I get the personal data and do research on them. I try to find out as much as possible. I get all the necessary motions and documents prepared and ready to go before filing anything. When the timing is right we file it all at the same time. We file the child support lien on every financial institution possible and then set court dates for the required enforcement motion. Then, we wait until they are served with a copy of everything. And, if everything goes smoothly, your ex will be going about their daily routine until they try to run their debit card, or withdrawal money from a bank account, or otherwise make a purchase when to their surprise they learn they can’t access any money. Trust me, it won’t b e a good day for them. Then they will receive both by personal delivery and mail a large envelope containing all the legal documents we’ve filed including the Texas Child Support Lien. At this point, it is safe to assume that you you have finally gotten their undivided attention. This whole scenario plays out even more dramatically if they are married. The new spouse will be pretty annoyed with the situation as well.
When used in conjunction with other Child Support Collection Tools, the child support lien is extremely effective in freezing the assets but also in getting a little satisfaction in knowing that your ex now has to start taking you and his court ordered obligations seriously.