So your attorney recently called and told you that after the negotiating process, the insurance company is making a settlement offer that may bring your matter to a resolution. Finally, the stressful process of getting into a motor vehicle collision and the dealing with the injuries it caused is coming to an end. Then you find out that the insurance company also gave notice of a “child support lien.” What does that mean? What does child support have to do with your personal injury? How much are they going to take? Can you dispute it?
The General Rule
For one reason or another, an obligor can get behind on their child support responsibilities. When this happens, the State of Texas has strict rules on the status of such a debt. Generally speaking, if an obligor recovers compensation from a personal injury settlement, but has outstanding child support obligations, the State of Texas Attorney General’s office child support intercept division will attach a lien to the claim. This means that the obligor must satisfy their child support debt before the Texas Attorney General’s office will lift the lien and allow payment to the obligor.
Do I have to pay ALL my back child support debt before I can receive compensation for my injury?
Generally speaking, the answer is yes. Your attorney can always reach out to the Texas Attorney General’s office and ask that an amount be taken by child support that is less than the total amount outstanding. In some circumstances, they are willing to work with the obligor. Depending on your specific circumstance, you should ask your attorney to reach out to the Texas Attorney General’s office.
What about my medical bills? What about the fee for my attorney?
Your attorney’s fees, as well as any medical bills you accrued as a result of the injury, are deducted from your settlement offer before your child support lien is addressed. This ensures that you are not creating new debts by attempting to pay existing ones.
It is always important to know your legal rights. If you have ever been involved in a motor vehicle collision, you may be confused about the process and what to do next. The attorneys at Herrman & Herrman PLLC are always on standby to help! If you have any questions about a potential claim or would like to sit down for a consultation and discuss your issue, please contact us immediately. At Herrman & Herrman PLLC, we always strive to put our clients first!
*This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice.