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Statutes > Texas > Family-code > Title-5-the-parent-child-relationship-and-the-suit-affecting-the-parent-child-relationship > Chapter-157-enforcement

FAMILY CODE

TITLE 5. THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP AND THE SUIT AFFECTING THE

PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP

SUBTITLE B. SUITS AFFECTING THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP

CHAPTER 157. ENFORCEMENT

SUBCHAPTER A. PLEADINGS AND DEFENSES

Sec. 157.001. MOTION FOR ENFORCEMENT. (a) A motion for

enforcement as provided in this chapter may be filed to enforce a

final order for conservatorship, child support, possession of or

access to a child, or other provisions of a final order.

(b) The court may enforce by contempt a final order for

possession of and access to a child as provided in this chapter.

(c) The court may enforce a final order for child support as

provided in this chapter or Chapter 158.

(d) A motion for enforcement shall be filed in the court of

continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.002. CONTENTS OF MOTION. (a) A motion for enforcement

must, in ordinary and concise language:

(1) identify the provision of the order allegedly violated and

sought to be enforced;

(2) state the manner of the respondent’s alleged noncompliance;

(3) state the relief requested by the movant; and

(4) contain the signature of the movant or the movant’s

attorney.

(b) A motion for enforcement of child support:

(1) must include the amount owed as provided in the order, the

amount paid, and the amount of arrearages;

(2) if contempt is requested, must include the portion of the

order allegedly violated and, for each date of alleged contempt,

the amount due and the amount paid, if any;

(3) may include as an attachment a copy of a record of child

support payments maintained by the Title IV-D registry or a local

registry; and

(4) if the obligor owes arrearages for a child receiving

assistance under Part A of Title IV of the federal Social

Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 601 et seq.), may include a

request that:

(A) the obligor pay the arrearages in accordance with a plan

approved by the court; or

(B) if the obligor is already subject to a plan and is not

incapacitated, the obligor participate in work activities, as

defined under 42 U.S.C. Section 607(d), that the court determines

appropriate.

(c) A motion for enforcement of the terms and conditions of

conservatorship or possession of or access to a child must

include the date, place, and, if applicable, the time of each

occasion of the respondent’s failure to comply with the order.

(d) The movant is not required to plead that the underlying

order is enforceable by contempt to obtain other appropriate

enforcement remedies.

(e) The movant may allege repeated past violations of the order

and that future violations of a similar nature may occur before

the date of the hearing.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 17, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 157.003. JOINDER OF CLAIMS AND REMEDIES; NO ELECTION OF

REMEDIES. (a) A party requesting enforcement may join in the

same proceeding any claim and remedy provided for in this

chapter, other provisions of this title, or other rules of law.

(b) A motion for enforcement does not constitute an election of

remedies that limits or precludes:

(1) the use of any other civil or criminal proceeding to enforce

a final order; or

(2) a suit for damages under Chapter 42.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.24, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 157.004. TIME LIMITATIONS; ENFORCEMENT OF POSSESSION. The

court retains jurisdiction to render a contempt order for failure

to comply with the order of possession and access if the motion

for enforcement is filed not later than the sixth month after the

date:

(1) the child becomes an adult; or

(2) on which the right of possession and access terminates under

the order or by operation of law.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.005. TIME LIMITATIONS; ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT.

(a) The court retains jurisdiction to render a contempt order

for failure to comply with the child support order if the motion

for enforcement is filed not later than the second anniversary of

the date:

(1) the child becomes an adult; or

(2) on which the child support obligation terminates under the

order or by operation of law.

(b) The court retains jurisdiction to confirm the total amount

of child support arrearages and render a cumulative money

judgment for past-due child support, as provided by Section

157.263, if a motion for enforcement requesting a cumulative

money judgment is filed not later than the 10th anniversary after

the date:

(1) the child becomes an adult; or

(2) on which the child support obligation terminates under the

child support order or by operation of law.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 15, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

916, Sec. 21, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 13, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 157.006. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO MOTION FOR ENFORCEMENT.

(a) The issue of the existence of an affirmative defense to a

motion for enforcement does not arise unless evidence is admitted

supporting the defense.

(b) The respondent must prove the affirmative defense by a

preponderance of the evidence.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.007. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO MOTION FOR ENFORCEMENT OF

POSSESSION OR ACCESS. (a) The respondent may plead as an

affirmative defense to contempt for failure to comply with an

order for possession or access to a child that the movant

voluntarily relinquished actual possession and control of the

child.

(b) The voluntary relinquishment must have been for the time

encompassed by the court-ordered periods during which the

respondent is alleged to have interfered.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.008. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO MOTION FOR ENFORCEMENT OF

CHILD SUPPORT. (a) An obligor may plead as an affirmative

defense in whole or in part to a motion for enforcement of child

support that the obligee voluntarily relinquished to the obligor

actual possession and control of a child.

(b) The voluntary relinquishment must have been for a time

period in excess of any court-ordered periods of possession of

and access to the child and actual support must have been

supplied by the obligor.

(c) An obligor may plead as an affirmative defense to an

allegation of contempt or of the violation of a condition of

community service requiring payment of child support that the

obligor:

(1) lacked the ability to provide support in the amount ordered;

(2) lacked property that could be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise

pledged to raise the funds needed;

(3) attempted unsuccessfully to borrow the funds needed; and

(4) knew of no source from which the money could have been

borrowed or legally obtained.

(d) An obligor who has provided actual support to the child

during a time subject to an affirmative defense under this

section may request reimbursement for that support as a

counterclaim or offset against the claim of the obligee.

(e) An action against the obligee for support supplied to a

child is limited to the amount of periodic payments previously

ordered by the court.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.009. CREDIT FOR PAYMENT OF DISABILITY BENEFITS. In

addition to any other credit or offset available to an obligor

under this title, if a child for whom the obligor owes child

support receives a lump-sum payment as a result of the obligor’s

disability and that payment is made to the obligee as the

representative payee of the child, the obligor is entitled to a

credit. The credit under this section is equal to the amount of

the lump-sum payment and shall be applied to any child support

arrearage and interest owed by the obligor on behalf of that

child at the time the payment is made.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

538, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 14, eff. June 19, 2009.

SUBCHAPTER B. PROCEDURE

Sec. 157.061. SETTING HEARING. (a) On filing a motion for

enforcement requesting contempt, the court shall set the date,

time, and place of the hearing and order the respondent to

personally appear and respond to the motion.

(b) If the motion for enforcement does not request contempt, the

court shall set the motion for hearing on the request of a party.

(c) The court shall give preference to a motion for enforcement

of child support in setting a hearing date and may not delay the

hearing because a suit for modification of the order requested to

be enforced has been or may be filed.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.062. NOTICE OF HEARING. (a) The notice of hearing

must include the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(b) The notice of hearing need not repeat the allegations

contained in the motion for enforcement.

(c) Notice of hearing on a motion for enforcement of an existing

order providing for child support or possession of or access to a

child shall be given to the respondent by personal service of a

copy of the motion and notice not later than the 10th day before

the date of the hearing.

(d) If a motion for enforcement is joined with another claim:

(1) the hearing may not be held before 10 a.m. on the first

Monday after the 20th day after the date of service; and

(2) the provisions of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

applicable to the filing of an original lawsuit apply.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 49, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 157.063. APPEARANCE. A party makes a general appearance

for all purposes in an enforcement proceeding if:

(1) the party appears at the hearing or is present when the case

is called; and

(2) the party does not object to the court’s jurisdiction or the

form or manner of the notice of hearing.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.064. SPECIAL EXCEPTION. (a) If a respondent specially

excepts to the motion for enforcement or moves to strike, the

court shall rule on the exception or the motion to strike before

it hears the motion for enforcement.

(b) If an exception is sustained, the court shall give the

movant an opportunity to replead and continue the hearing to a

designated date and time without the requirement of additional

service.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.065. NOTICE OF HEARING, FIRST CLASS MAIL. (a) If a

party has been ordered under Chapter 105 to provide the court and

the state case registry with the party’s current mailing address,

notice of a hearing on a motion for enforcement may be served by

mailing a copy of the notice to the respondent, together with a

copy of the motion, by first class mail to the last mailing

address of the respondent on file with the court and the

registry.

(b) The notice may be sent by the clerk of the court, the

movant’s attorney, or any person entitled to the address

information as provided in Chapter 105.

(c) A person who sends the notice shall file of record a

certificate of service showing the date of mailing and the name

of the person who sent the notice.

(d) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 97(a), eff.

Sept. 1, 1997.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 18, 97(a),

eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.066. FAILURE TO APPEAR. If a respondent who has been

personally served with notice to appear at a hearing does not

appear at the designated time, place, and date to respond to a

motion for enforcement of an existing court order, regardless of

whether the motion is joined with other claims or remedies, the

court may not hold the respondent in contempt but may, on proper

proof, grant a default judgment for the relief sought and issue a

capias for the arrest of the respondent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 50, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER C. FAILURE TO APPEAR; BOND OR SECURITY

Sec. 157.101. BOND OR SECURITY FOR RELEASE OF RESPONDENT. (a)

When the court orders the issuance of a capias as provided in

this chapter, the court shall also set an appearance bond or

security, payable to the obligee or to a person designated by the

court, in a reasonable amount.

(b) An appearance bond or security in the amount of $1,000 or a

cash bond in the amount of $250 is presumed to be reasonable.

Evidence that the respondent has attempted to evade service of

process, has previously been found guilty of contempt, or has

accrued arrearages over $1,000 is sufficient to rebut the

presumption. If the presumption is rebutted, the court shall set

a reasonable bond.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.102. CAPIAS OR WARRANT; DUTY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT

OFFICIALS. Law enforcement officials shall treat a capias or

arrest warrant ordered under this chapter in the same manner as

an arrest warrant for a criminal offense and shall enter the

capias or warrant in the computer records for outstanding

warrants maintained by the local police, sheriff, and Department

of Public Safety. The capias or warrant shall be forwarded to

and disseminated by the Texas Crime Information Center and the

National Crime Information Center.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 16, eff. Sept.

1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.103. CAPIAS FEES. (a) The fee for issuing a capias as

provided in this chapter is the same as the fee for issuance of a

writ of attachment.

(b) The fee for serving a capias is the same as the fee for

service of a writ in civil cases generally.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.104. CONDITIONAL RELEASE. If the respondent is taken

into custody and released on bond, the court shall condition the

bond on the respondent’s promise to appear in court for a hearing

as required by the court without the necessity of further

personal service of notice on the respondent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.105. RELEASE HEARING. (a) If the respondent is taken

into custody and not released on bond, the respondent shall be

brought before the court that issued the capias on or before the

third working day after the arrest. The court shall determine

whether the respondent’s appearance in court at a designated time

and place can be assured by a method other than by posting the

bond or security previously established.

(b) If the respondent is released without posting bond or

security, the court shall set a hearing on the alleged contempt

at a designated date, time, and place and give the respondent

notice of hearing in open court. No other notice to the

respondent is required.

(c) If the court is not satisfied that the respondent’s

appearance in court can be assured and the respondent remains in

custody, a hearing on the alleged contempt shall be held as soon

as practicable, but not later than the seventh day after the date

that the respondent was taken into custody, unless the respondent

and the respondent’s attorney waive the accelerated hearing.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.106. CASH BOND AS SUPPORT. (a) If the respondent has

posted a cash bond and is found to be in arrears in the payment

of court-ordered child support, the court shall order that the

proceeds of the cash bond be paid to the child support obligee or

to a person designated by the court, not to exceed the amount of

child support arrearages determined to exist.

(b) This section applies without regard to whether the

respondent appears at the hearing.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.107. APPEARANCE BOND OR SECURITY OTHER THAN CASH BOND

AS SUPPORT. (a) If the respondent fails to appear at the

hearing as directed, the court shall order that the appearance

bond or security be forfeited and that the proceeds of any

judgment on the bond or security, not to exceed the amount of

child support arrearages determined to exist, be paid to the

obligee or to a person designated by the court.

(b) The obligee may file suit on the bond.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.108. CASH BOND AS PROPERTY OF RESPONDENT. A court

shall treat a cash bond posted for the benefit of the respondent

as the property of the respondent. A person who posts the cash

bond does not have recourse in relation to an order regarding the

bond other than against the respondent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.109. SECURITY FOR COMPLIANCE WITH ORDER. (a) The

court may order the respondent to execute a bond or post security

if the court finds that the respondent:

(1) has on two or more occasions denied possession of or access

to a child who is the subject of the order; or

(2) is employed by an employer not subject to the jurisdiction

of the court or for whom income withholding is unworkable or

inappropriate.

(b) The court shall set the amount of the bond or security and

condition the bond or security on compliance with the court order

permitting possession or access or the payment of past-due or

future child support.

(c) The court shall order the bond or security payable through

the registry of the court:

(1) to the obligee or other person or entity entitled to receive

child support payments designated by the court if enforcement of

child support is requested; or

(2) to the person who is entitled to possession or access if

enforcement of possession or access is requested.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.110. FORFEITURE OF SECURITY FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH

ORDER. (a) On the motion of a person or entity for whose

benefit a bond has been executed or security deposited, the court

may forfeit all or part of the bond or security deposit on a

finding that the person who furnished the bond or security:

(1) has violated the court order for possession of and access to

a child; or

(2) failed to make child support payments.

(b) The court shall order the registry to pay the funds from a

forfeited bond or security deposit to the obligee or person or

entity entitled to receive child support payments in an amount

that does not exceed the child support arrearages or, in the case

of possession of or access to a child, to the person entitled to

possession or access.

(c) The court may order that all or part of the forfeited amount

be applied to pay attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the

person or entity bringing the motion for contempt or motion for

forfeiture.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.111. FORFEITURE NOT DEFENSE TO CONTEMPT. The

forfeiture of bond or security is not a defense in a contempt

proceeding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.112. JOINDER OF FORFEITURE AND CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS. A

motion for enforcement requesting contempt may be joined with a

forfeiture proceeding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.113. APPLICATION OF BOND PENDING WRIT. If the obligor

requests to execute a bond or to post security pending a hearing

by an appellate court on a writ, the bond or security on

forfeiture shall be payable to the obligee.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.114. FAILURE TO APPEAR. The court may order a capias

to be issued for the arrest of the respondent if:

(1) the motion for enforcement requests contempt;

(2) the respondent was personally served; and

(3) the respondent fails to appear.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.115. DEFAULT JUDGMENT. (a) The court may render a

default order for the relief requested if the respondent:

(1) has been personally served, has filed an answer, or has

entered an appearance; and

(2) does not appear at the designated time, place, and date to

respond to the motion.

(b) If the respondent fails to appear, the court may not hold

the respondent in contempt but may order a capias to be issued.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 51, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER D. HEARING AND ENFORCEMENT ORDER

Sec. 157.161. RECORD. (a) Except as provided by Subsection

(b), a record of the hearing in a motion for enforcement shall be

made by a court reporter or as provided by Chapter 201.

(b) A record is not required if:

(1) the parties agree to an order; or

(2) the motion does not request incarceration and the parties

waive the requirement of a record at the time of hearing, either

in writing or in open court, and the court approves waiver.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.162. PROOF. (a) The movant is not required to prove

that the underlying order is enforceable by contempt to obtain

other appropriate enforcement remedies.

(b) A finding that the respondent is not in contempt does not

preclude the court from ordering any other enforcement remedy,

including rendering a money judgment, posting a bond or other

security, or withholding income.

(c) A copy of the payment record attached to the motion is

evidence of the facts asserted in the payment record and is

admissible to show whether payments were made. The respondent may

offer controverting evidence.

(d) The court may not find a respondent in contempt of court for

failure to pay child support if the respondent appears at the

hearing with a copy of the payment record or other evidence

satisfactory to the court showing that the respondent is current

in the payment of child support as ordered by the court.

(e) Notwithstanding Subsection (d), the court may award the

petitioner costs of court and reasonable attorney’s fees in a

proceeding described by that subsection if the court finds that:

(1) on the date the motion for enforcement was filed, the

respondent was not current in the payment of child support as

ordered by the court; and

(2) the respondent made the child support payments described by

Subsection (d) after the date the respondent was served notice of

the motion or otherwise discovered that the motion for

enforcement had been filed.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

1189, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 15, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 157.163. APPOINTMENT OF ATTORNEY. (a) In a motion for

enforcement or motion to revoke community service, the court must

first determine whether incarceration of the respondent is a

possible result of the proceedings.

(b) If the court determines that incarceration is a possible

result of the proceedings, the court shall inform a respondent

not represented by an attorney of the right to be represented by

an attorney and, if the respondent is indigent, of the right to

the appointment of an attorney.

(c) If the court determines that the respondent will not be

incarcerated as a result of the proceedings, the court may

require a respondent who is indigent to proceed without an

attorney.

(d) If the respondent claims indigency and requests the

appointment of an attorney, the court shall require the

respondent to file an affidavit of indigency. The court may hear

evidence to determine the issue of indigency.

(e) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the court shall

appoint an attorney to represent the respondent if the court

determines that the respondent is indigent.

(f) If the respondent is not in custody, an appointed attorney

is entitled to not less than 10 days from the date of the

attorney’s appointment to respond to the movant’s pleadings and

prepare for the hearing.

(g) If the respondent is in custody, an appointed attorney is

entitled to not less than five days from the date the respondent

was taken into custody to respond to the movant’s pleadings and

prepare for the hearing.

(h) The court may shorten or extend the time for preparation if

the respondent and the respondent’s attorney sign a waiver of the

time limit.

(i) The scope of the court appointment of an attorney to

represent the respondent is limited to the allegation of contempt

or of violation of community supervision contained in the motion

for enforcement or motion to revoke community supervision.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.164. PAYMENT OF APPOINTED ATTORNEY. (a) An attorney

appointed to represent an indigent respondent is entitled to a

reasonable fee for services within the scope of the appointment

in the amount set by the court.

(b) The fee shall be paid from the general funds of the county

according to the schedule for the compensation of counsel

appointed to defend criminal defendants as provided in the Code

of Criminal Procedure.

(c) For purposes of this section, a proceeding in a court of

appeals or the Supreme Court of Texas is considered the

equivalent of a bona fide appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal

Appeals.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.165. PROBATION OF CONTEMPT ORDER. The court may place

the respondent on community supervision and suspend commitment if

the court finds that the respondent is in contempt of court for

failure or refusal to obey an order rendered as provided in this

title.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.25, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 157.166. CONTENTS OF ENFORCEMENT ORDER. (a) An

enforcement order must include:

(1) in ordinary and concise language the provisions of the order

for which enforcement was requested;

(2) the acts or omissions that are the subject of the order;

(3) the manner of the respondent’s noncompliance; and

(4) the relief granted by the court.

(b) If the order imposes incarceration or a fine for criminal

contempt, an enforcement order must contain findings identifying,

setting out, or incorporating by reference the provisions of the

order for which enforcement was requested and the date of each

occasion when the respondent’s failure to comply with the order

was found to constitute criminal contempt.

(c) If the enforcement order imposes incarceration for civil

contempt, the order must state the specific conditions on which

the respondent may be released from confinement.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 17, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 157.167. RESPONDENT TO PAY ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS. (a)

If the court finds that the respondent has failed to make child

support payments, the court shall order the respondent to pay the

movant’s reasonable attorney’s fees and all court costs in

addition to the arrearages. Fees and costs ordered under this

subsection may be enforced by any means available for the

enforcement of child support, including contempt.

(b) If the court finds that the respondent has failed to comply

with the terms of an order providing for the possession of or

access to a child, the court shall order the respondent to pay

the movant’s reasonable attorney’s fees and all court costs in

addition to any other remedy. If the court finds that the

enforcement of the order with which the respondent failed to

comply was necessary to ensure the child’s physical or emotional

health or welfare, the fees and costs ordered under this

subsection may be enforced by any means available for the

enforcement of child support, including contempt, but not

including income withholding.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), for good cause shown,

the court may waive the requirement that the respondent pay

attorney’s fees and costs if the court states the reasons

supporting that finding.

(d) If the court finds that the respondent is in contempt of

court for failure or refusal to pay child support and that the

respondent owes $20,000 or more in child support arrearages, the

court may not waive the requirement that the respondent pay

attorney’s fees and costs unless the court also finds that the

respondent:

(1) is involuntarily unemployed or is disabled; and

(2) lacks the financial resources to pay the attorney’s fees and

costs.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 18, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 477, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1262, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

2003.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

253, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 157.168. ADDITIONAL PERIODS OF POSSESSION OR ACCESS. (a)

A court may order additional periods of possession of or access

to a child to compensate for the denial of court-ordered

possession or access. The additional periods of possession or

access:

(1) must be of the same type and duration of the possession or

access that was denied;

(2) may include weekend, holiday, and summer possession or

access; and

(3) must occur on or before the second anniversary of the date

the court finds that court-ordered possession or access has been

denied.

(b) The person denied possession or access is entitled to decide

the time of the additional possession or access, subject to the

provisions of Subsection (a)(1).

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 974, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER E. COMMUNITY SUPERVISION

Sec. 157.211. CONDITIONS OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. If the court

places the respondent on community supervision and suspends

commitment, the terms and conditions of community supervision may

include the requirement that the respondent:

(1) report to the community supervision officer as directed;

(2) permit the community supervision officer to visit the

respondent at the respondent’s home or elsewhere;

(3) obtain counseling on financial planning, budget management,

conflict resolution, parenting skills, alcohol or drug abuse, or

other matters causing the respondent to fail to obey the order;

(4) pay required child support and any child support arrearages;

(5) pay court costs and attorney’s fees ordered by the court;

(6) seek employment assistance services offered by the Texas

Workforce Commission under Section 302.0035, Labor Code, if

appropriate; and

(7) participate in mediation or other services to alleviate

conditions that prevent the respondent from obeying the court’s

order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 4, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 946, Sec. 2, eff. Sept.

1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 311, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Sec. 157.212. TERM OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. The initial period

of community supervision may not exceed 10 years. The court may

continue the community supervision beyond 10 years until the

earlier of:

(1) the second anniversary of the date on which the community

supervision first exceeded 10 years; or

(2) the date on which all child support, including arrearages

and interest, has been paid.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1313, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.213. COMMUNITY SUPERVISION FEES. (a) The court may

require the respondent to pay a fee to the court in an amount

equal to that required of a criminal defendant subject to

community supervision.

(b) The court may make payment of the fee a condition of

granting or continuing community supervision.

(c) The court shall deposit the fees received under this

subchapter as follows:

(1) if the community supervision officer is employed by a

community supervision and corrections department, in the special

fund of the county treasury provided by the Code of Criminal

Procedure to be used for community supervision; or

(2) if the community supervision officer is employed by a

domestic relations office, in one of the following funds, as

determined by the office’s administering entity:

(A) the general fund for the county in which the domestic

relations office is located; or

(B) the office fund established by the administering entity for

the domestic relations office.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 311, Sec. 2, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 157.214. MOTION TO REVOKE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. A

prosecuting attorney, the Title IV-D agency, a domestic relations

office, or a party affected by the order may file a verified

motion alleging specifically that certain conduct of the

respondent constitutes a violation of the terms and conditions of

community supervision.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 311, Sec. 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 157.215. ARREST FOR ALLEGED VIOLATION OF COMMUNITY

SUPERVISION. (a) If the motion to revoke community supervision

alleges a prima facie case that the respondent has violated a

term or condition of community supervision, the court may order

the respondent’s arrest by warrant.

(b) The respondent shall be brought promptly before the court

ordering the arrest.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.216. HEARING ON MOTION TO REVOKE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION.

(a) The court shall hold a hearing without a jury not later

than the third working day after the date the respondent is

arrested under Section 157.215. If the court is unavailable for

a hearing on that date, the hearing shall be held not later than

the third working day after the date the court becomes available.

(b) The hearing under this section may not be held later than

the seventh working day after the date the respondent is

arrested.

(c) After the hearing, the court may continue, modify, or revoke

the community supervision.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.217. DISCHARGE FROM COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. (a) When a

community supervision period has been satisfactorily completed,

the court on its own motion shall discharge the respondent from

community supervision.

(b) The court may discharge the respondent from community

supervision on the motion of the respondent if the court finds

that the respondent:

(1) has satisfactorily completed one year of community

supervision; and

(2) has fully complied with the community supervision order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

SUBCHAPTER F. JUDGMENT AND INTEREST

Sec. 157.261. UNPAID CHILD SUPPORT AS JUDGMENT. (a) A child

support payment not timely made constitutes a final judgment for

the amount due and owing, including interest as provided in this

chapter.

(b) For the purposes of this subchapter, interest begins to

accrue on the date the judge signs the order for the judgment

unless the order contains a statement that the order is rendered

on another specific date.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 5, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 157.262. REDUCTION OF ARREARAGES; ABEYANCE OF ENFORCEMENT.

(a) Except as provided by this section, in a contempt proceeding

or in rendering a money judgment, the court may not reduce or

modify the amount of child support arrearages.

(b) In an enforcement action under this chapter, the court may,

with the agreement of the Title IV-D agency, hold in abeyance the

enforcement of any arrearages, including interest, assigned to

the Title IV-D agency under Section 231.104(a) if, for the period

of the court’s order of abeyance of enforcement, the obligor:

(1) timely and fully pays the obligor’s current child support

under a court or administrative order; and

(2) is involved in the life of the child for whom support is

ordered through the exercise of the obligor’s right of possession

of or access to the child.

(c) If the court orders an abeyance of enforcement of arrearages

under this section, the court may require the obligor to obtain

counseling on parenting skills, work skills, job placement,

financial planning, conflict resolution, substance abuse, or

other matters causing the obligor to fail to obey the child

support order.

(d) If the court finds in a subsequent hearing that the obligor

has not met the conditions set by the court’s order under this

section, the court shall terminate the abeyance of enforcement of

the arrearages.

(e) On the expiration of the child support order, the court may,

with the agreement of the Title IV-D agency, reduce the amount of

the arrearages assigned to the Title IV-D agency under Section

231.104(a) if the court finds that the obligor has complied with

the conditions set by the court under this section.

(f) The money judgment for arrearages rendered by the court may

be subject to a counterclaim or offset as provided by this title.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 15, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

538, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 16, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 157.263. CONFIRMATION OF ARREARAGES. (a) If a motion for

enforcement of child support requests a money judgment for

arrearages, the court shall confirm the amount of arrearages and

render one cumulative money judgment.

(b) A cumulative money judgment includes:

(1) unpaid child support not previously confirmed;

(2) the balance owed on previously confirmed arrearages or lump

sum or retroactive support judgments;

(3) interest on the arrearages; and

(4) a statement that it is a cumulative judgment.

(c) If the amount of arrearages confirmed by the court reflects

a credit to the obligor for support arrearages collected from a

federal tax refund under 42 U.S.C. Section 664, and,

subsequently, the amount of that credit is reduced because the

refund was adjusted because of an injured spouse claim by a

jointly filing spouse, the tax return was amended, the return was

audited by the Internal Revenue Service, or for another reason

permitted by law, the court shall render a new cumulative

judgment to include as arrearages an amount equal to the amount

by which the credit was reduced.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 4, eff.

Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 24, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.264. ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT. (a) A money judgment

rendered as provided in this subchapter may be enforced by any

means available for the enforcement of a judgment for debts.

(b) The court shall render an order requiring that the obligor

make periodic payments on the judgment, including by income

withholding under Chapter 158 if the obligor is subject to income

withholding.

(c) An order rendered under Subsection (b) does not preclude or

limit the use of any other means for enforcement of the judgment.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 16, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 17, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 157.265. ACCRUAL OF INTEREST ON CHILD SUPPORT. (a)

Interest accrues on the portion of delinquent child support that

is greater than the amount of the monthly periodic support

obligation at the rate of six percent simple interest per year

from the date the support is delinquent until the date the

support is paid or the arrearages are confirmed and reduced to

money judgment.

(b) Interest accrues on child support arrearages that have been

confirmed and reduced to money judgment as provided in this

subchapter at the rate of six percent simple interest per year

from the date the order is rendered until the date the judgment

is paid.

(c) Interest accrues on a money judgment for retroactive or

lump-sum child support at the annual rate of six percent simple

interest from the date the order is rendered until the judgment

is paid.

(d) Subsection (a) applies to a child support payment that

becomes due on or after January 1, 2002.

(e) Child support arrearages in existence on January 1, 2002,

that were not confirmed and reduced to a money judgment on or

before that date accrue interest as follows:

(1) before January 1, 2002, the arrearages are subject to the

interest rate that applied to the arrearages before that date;

and

(2) on and after January 1, 2002, the cumulative total of

arrearages and interest accumulated on those arrearages described

by Subdivision (1) is subject to Subsection (a).

(f) Subsections (b) and (c) apply to a money judgment for child

support rendered on or after January 1, 2002. A money judgment

for child support rendered before that date is governed by the

law in effect on the date the judgment was rendered, and the

former law is continued in effect for that purpose.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 53, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 943, Sec. 1, eff. Jan.

1, 2000; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1491, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

185, Sec. 1, eff. May 27, 2005.

Sec. 157.266. DATE OF DELINQUENCY. (a) A child support payment

is delinquent for the purpose of accrual of interest if the

payment is not received before the 31st day after the payment

date stated in the order by:

(1) the local registry, Title IV-D registry, or state

disbursement unit; or

(2) the obligee or entity specified in the order, if payments

are not made through a registry.

(b) If a payment date is not stated in the order, a child

support payment is delinquent if payment is not received by the

registry or the obligee or entity specified in the order on the

date that an amount equal to the support payable for one month

becomes past due.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 943, Sec. 2, eff. Jan.

1, 2000.

Sec. 157.267. INTEREST ENFORCED AS CHILD SUPPORT. Accrued

interest is part of the child support obligation and may be

enforced by any means provided for the collection of child

support.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 157.268. APPLICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT. Child

support collected shall be applied in the following order of

priority:

(1) current child support;

(2) non-delinquent child support owed;

(3) the principal amount of child support that has not been

confirmed and reduced to money judgment;

(4) the principal amount of child support that has been

confirmed and reduced to money judgment;

(5) interest on the principal amounts specified in Subdivisions

(3) and (4); and

(6) the amount of any ordered attorney’s fees or costs, or Title

IV-D service fees authorized under Section 231.103 for which the

obligor is responsible.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 17, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 18, eff. January 1, 2010.

Sec. 157.269. RETENTION OF JURISDICTION. A court that renders

an order providing for the payment of child support retains

continuing jurisdiction to enforce the order, including by

adjusting the amount of the periodic payments to be made by the

obligor or the amount to be withheld from the obligor’s

disposable earnings, until all current support and medical

support and child support arrearages, including interest and any

applicable fees and costs, have been paid.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 19, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 26, eff. September 1, 2007.

SUBCHAPTER G. CHILD SUPPORT LIEN

Sec. 157.311. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1) “Account” means:

(A) any type of a demand deposit account, checking or negotiable

withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account,

money market mutual fund account, certificate of deposit, or any

other instrument of deposit in which an individual has a

beneficial ownership either in its entirety or on a shared or

multiple party basis, including any accrued interest and

dividends; and

(B) a life insurance policy in which an individual has a

beneficial ownership or liability insurance against which an

individual has filed a claim or counterclaim.

(2) “Claimant” means:

(A) the obligee or a private attorney representing the obligee;

(B) the Title IV-D agency providing child support services;

(C) a domestic relations office or local registry; or

(D) an attorney appointed as a friend of the court.

(3) “Court having continuing jurisdiction” is the court of

continuing, exclusive jurisdiction in this state or a tribunal of

another state having jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate

Family Support Act or a substantially similar act.

(4) “Financial institution” has the meaning assigned by 42

U.S.C. Section 669a(d)(1) and includes a depository institution,

credit union, benefit association, liability or life insurance

company, money market mutual fund, and any similar entity

authorized to do business in this state.

(5) “Lien” means a child support lien issued in this or another

state.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 19, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1,

2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 157.312. GENERAL PROVISIONS. (a) A claimant may enforce

child support by a lien as provided in this subchapter.

(b) The remedies provided by this subchapter do not affect the

availability of other remedies provided by law.

(c) The lien is in addition to any other lien provided by law.

(d) A child support lien arises by operation of law against real

and personal property of an obligor for all amounts of child

support due and owing, including any accrued interest, regardless

of whether the amounts have been adjudicated or otherwise

determined, subject to the requirements of this subchapter for

perfection of the lien.

(e) A child support lien arising in another state may be

enforced in the same manner and to the same extent as a lien

arising in this state.

(f) A foreclosure action under this subchapter is not required

as a prerequisite to levy and execution on a judicial or

administrative determination of arrearages as provided by Section

157.327.

(g) A child support lien under this subchapter may not be

directed to an employer to attach to the disposable earnings of

an obligor paid by the employer.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 2, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 20, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1,

2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 157.313. CONTENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT LIEN NOTICE. (a)

Except as provided by Subsection (e), a child support lien notice

must contain:

(1) the name and address of the person to whom the notice is

being sent;

(2) the style, docket or cause number, and identity of the

tribunal of this or another state having continuing jurisdiction

of the child support action and, if the case is a Title IV-D

case, the case number;

(3) the full name, address, and, if known, the birth date,

driver’s license number, social security number, and any aliases

of the obligor;

(4) the full name and, if known, social security number of the

obligee;

(5) the amount of the current or prospective child support

obligation, the frequency with which current or prospective child

support is ordered to be paid, and the amount of child support

arrearages owed by the obligor and the date of the signing of the

court order, administrative order, or writ that determined the

arrearages or the date and manner in which the arrearages were

determined;

(6) the rate of interest specified in the court order,

administrative order, or writ or, in the absence of a specified

interest rate, the rate provided for by law;

(7) the name and address of the person or agency asserting the

lien;

(8) the motor vehicle identification number as shown on the

obligor’s title if the property is a motor vehicle;

(9) a statement that the lien attaches to all nonexempt real and

personal property of the obligor that is located or recorded in

the state, including any property specifically identified in the

notice and any property acquired after the date of filing or

delivery of the notice;

(10) a statement that any ordered child support not timely paid

in the future constitutes a final judgment for the amount due and

owing, including interest, and accrues up to an amount that may

not exceed the lien amount; and

(11) a statement that the obligor is being provided a copy of

the lien notice and that the obligor may dispute the arrearage

amount by filing suit under Section 157.323.

(b) A claimant may include any other information that the

claimant considers necessary.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (e), the lien notice must

be verified.

(d) A claimant must file a notice for each after-acquired motor

vehicle.

(e) A notice of a lien for child support under this section may

be in the form authorized by federal law or regulation. The

federal form of lien notice does not require verification when

used by the Title IV-D agency.

(f) The requirement under Subsections (a)(3) and (4) to provide

a social security number, if known, does not apply to a lien

notice for a lien on real property.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 21, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 27, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 157.314. FILING LIEN NOTICE OR ABSTRACT OF JUDGMENT; NOTICE

TO OBLIGOR. (a) A child support lien notice or an abstract of

judgment for past due child support may be filed by the claimant

with the county clerk of:

(1) any county in which the obligor is believed to own nonexempt

real or personal property;

(2) the county in which the obligor resides; or

(3) the county in which the court having continuing jurisdiction

has venue of the suit affecting the parent-child relationship.

(b) A child support lien notice may be filed with or delivered

to the following, as appropriate:

(1) the clerk of the court in which a claim, counterclaim, or

suit by, or on behalf of, the obligor, including a claim or

potential right to proceeds from an estate as an heir,

beneficiary, or creditor, is pending, provided that a copy of the

lien is mailed to the attorney of record for the obligor, if any;

(2) an attorney who represents the obligor in a claim or

counterclaim that has not been filed with a court;

(3) any other individual or organization believed to be in

possession of real or personal property of the obligor; or

(4) any governmental unit or agency that issues or records

certificates, titles, or other indicia of property ownership.

(c) Not later than the 21st day after the date of filing or

delivering the child support lien notice, the claimant shall

provide a copy of the notice to the obligor by first class or

certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the

obligor at the obligor’s last known address. If another person is

known to have an ownership interest in the property subject to

the lien, the claimant shall provide a copy of the lien notice to

that person at the time notice is provided to the obligor.

(d) If a child support lien notice is delivered to a financial

institution with respect to an account of the obligor, the

institution shall immediately:

(1) provide the claimant with the last known address of the

obligor; and

(2) notify any other person having an ownership interest in the

account that the account has been frozen in an amount not to

exceed the amount of the child support arrearage identified in

the notice.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 4, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 22, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Sec. 157.3145. SERVICE ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTION. (a) Service

of a child support lien notice on a financial institution

relating to property held by the institution in the name of, or

in behalf of, an obligor is governed by Section 59.008, Finance

Code, if the institution is subject to that law, or may be

delivered to the registered agent, the institution’s main

business office in this state, or another address provided by the

institution under Section 231.307.

(b) A financial institution doing business in this state shall

comply with the notice of lien and levy under this section

regardless of whether the institution’s corporate headquarters is

located in this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1,

2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 7, eff.

Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 157.315. RECORDING AND INDEXING LIEN. (a) On receipt of a

child support lien notice, the county clerk shall immediately

record the notice in the county judgment records as provided in

Chapter 52, Property Code.

(b) The county clerk may not charge the Title IV-D agency, a

domestic relations office, a friend of the court, or any other

party a fee for recording the notice of a lien. To qualify for

this exemption, the lien notice must be styled “Notice of Child

Support Lien” or be in the form authorized by federal law or

regulation.

(c) The county clerk may not charge the Title IV-D agency, a

domestic relations office, or a friend of the court a fee for

recording the release of a child support lien. The lien release

must be styled “Release of Child Support Lien.”

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 595, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 769, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Sec. 157.316. PERFECTION OF CHILD SUPPORT LIEN. (a) Except as

provided by Subsection (b), a child support lien is perfected

when an abstract of judgment for past due child support or a

child support lien notice is filed or delivered as provided by

Section 157.314.

(b) If a lien established under this subchapter attaches to a

motor vehicle, the lien must be perfected in the manner provided

by Chapter 501, Transportation Code, and the court or Title IV-D

agency that rendered the order of child support shall include in

the order a requirement that the obligor surrender to the court

or Title IV-D agency evidence of the legal ownership of the motor

vehicle against which the lien may attach. A lien against a

motor vehicle under this subchapter is not perfected until the

obligor’s title to the vehicle has been surrendered to the court

or Title IV-D agency and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

has issued a subsequent title that discloses on its face the fact

that the vehicle is subject to a child support lien under this

subchapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 5, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 23, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

933, Sec. 3C.01, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 157.317. PROPERTY TO WHICH LIEN ATTACHES. (a) A child

support lien attaches to all real and personal property not

exempt under the Texas Constitution or other law, including:

(1) an account in a financial institution;

(2) a retirement plan, including an individual retirement

account; and

(3) the proceeds of a life insurance policy, a claim for

negligence or personal injury, or an insurance settlement or

award for the claim, due to or owned by the obligor.

(a-1) A lien attaches to all property owned or acquired on or

after the date the lien notice or abstract of judgment is filed

with the county clerk of the county in which the property is

located, with the court clerk as to property or claims in

litigation, or, as to property of the obligor in the possession

or control of a third party, from the date the lien notice is

delivered to that party.

(b) A lien attaches to all nonhomestead real property of the

obligor but does not attach to a homestead exempt under the Texas

Constitution or the Property Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 6, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 24, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.007, eff. Sept. 1,

1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;

Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 25,