EL PASO, Texas - Many parents behind on their child support payments are beginning to pay up thanks to a new state law, the Attorney General's Office said.
"Often times the parent who has to pay the child support hopes it goes away, but it doesn't happen. It keeps adding up," said attorney Douglas Smith. "I was defending a person who owed back $127,000 in child support."
The Attorney General's Office uses several tools to try to collect, such as wage withholding and suspending driver's licenses along with professional and occupational licenses.
On September 1, 2016, the office added another mechanism. "Parents who have not made a payment in at least six months risk non-renewal of their vehicle registration," said Janece Rolfe with the Attorney General's Office.
Nearly two weeks in, the AG's office says it's already seeing improvement when it comes to delinquents making payments.
"Letters went out last week informing parents whose vehicle registrations is set to expire in December," Rolfe said, "They were instructed to call our office and they are starting to make payments."
The AG's Office manages nearly 60,000 child support cases in El Paso. In the 2016 Fiscal Year, El Paso County residents paid $165.5 million in court-ordered child support.