What Happens If You Don't Pay Ad Litem Fees In Texas ?
In Ex Parte Hightower, Texas Court held that a parent could not be held in contempt for failing to pay ad litem fees ordered to be paid as part of the child support. Ex Parte Hightower, 877 S.W.2d 17 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1994, writ dism'd w.o.j.).
This court held that the fees are costs and are not subject to enforcement by contempt. Id.
In Kinsey, the El Paso Court, in a footnote, criticized Hightower and opined that the nonpayment of ad litem fees is enforceable by contempt. See Ex Parte Kimsey, 915 S.W.2d 523, 526 n.1 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1995, no writ).
Kinsey dealt with contempt from the nonpayment of attorneys fees required by a temporary order. Temporary orders have their own rules and regulations which are not applicable to parent-child modification orders.
The family code includes specific requirements for a trial court to modify a child support order. See TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. 156.401 et seq. (Vernon Supp. 2000).
In order to modify the child support order the trial court must find that the circumstances of the child have "materially and substantially" changed.