This is what has to happen for you to be thrown in jail for failure to pay child support:
Failure to obey a court order is called contempt of court. If you owe unpaid child support, the other parent can ask for a hearing before a judge and ask that you be held in contempt of court. You must be served with a document ordering you to attend the hearing, and then must attend and explain why you haven’t paid the support you owe. If you don’t attend, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest. Many courts do issue warrants, making county jails a resting stop for parents who don’t pay child support and fail to show up in court.
If you attend the hearing, the judge can still throw you in jail for violating the order to pay the support. And the judge might do so, depending on how convincing your story is as to why you haven’t paid.
To stay out of jail, go to the contempt of court hearing prepared to show that you have not deliberately disobeyed the court’s order to pay child support. You may have to convince the judge that you’re not as irresponsible as it appears. Preparing evidence is a must.
Your first step is to show why you didn’t pay.
Judges rarely put a parent in jail for contempt of court. Usually, it happens only if an income-withholding order and a wage garnishment won’t work. Courts recognize that a jailed parent cannot earn money to make child support payments.
That being said, if you have had no notification, nothing showing that you had a hearing or missed a hearing, then your rights have been trampled on.
You would need a lawyer who does civil rights or constitutional due process issues to sue the state for violation of your rights. There are lawyers who do this and I can see if I can find some in your area. We are not allowed to make recommendations but I can send you a list of lawyers and explain how to pick someone from the list. I would just need to know where in TX you are, approximately, a big city near you so I can find a list of lawyers.
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