Negative emotions from divorce can make parents do things that could actually hurt their children without really thinking it through. Your ex may love your kids quite a bit, but they may also resent paying child support.

Quite a few people ordered to pay child support become angry and bitter about this obligation, arguing that they pay more than they should or that their ex wastes the money or uses it for personal benefit. When you have primary custody of your children, you likely depend on that child support to make ends meet each month.

Whether you needed to pay your mortgage or rent, require those funds to cover medical costs or can’t afford to buy a uniform for your child on a soccer team, timely payment of child support can improve the quality of life you can offer to your children. If your ex has stopped paying it and has become antagonistic toward you when you bring up the unpaid support, it may be time to ask Texas to take enforcement action.

Child support benefits the children, not the spouse

One common misconception among those paying child support is that they think they have the right to micromanage how their ex uses their funds. However, if you already paid out of pocket for that orthodontist bill or the groceries for the month, you may need to use the child support funds that come in to cover your expenses, such as your car payments or other household expenses.

While your ex may not be happy about exactly how you choose to spend your money, that is not their concern. The only time such concern should matter is if the child does not have their basic needs met while the parent receiving child support is living a luxurious or wasteful lifestyle. Barring that, the parent paying support shouldn’t worry about how the funds get spent.

The state can take drastic measures to enforce child support

Once someone has decided that they don’t want to pay child support anymore, they will likely take whatever steps are necessary to avoid their obligation to your shared children. Some people will even leave a long-term job or established career so that the state can’t garnish their wages.

If garnishment isn’t an option, Texas can take other steps to enforce court-ordered child support. The state could suspend the driver’s license, professional license or recreational licenses of someone who has not paid child support. They can also revoke or refuse to issue a passport for those with substantial back-due child support.

If your ex has substantial assets, such as a retirement account, the state could place a lien against that financial asset or even real estate holdings. If nothing else works, Texas could file an action in court against your spouse for civil or criminal contempt.