Child Support
Criminal Nonsupport Handbook


Indictment
Elements
Alternatives

Elements
The elements of the offense of criminal nonsupport are as follows:
  1. the defendant intentionally or knowingly
  2. fails to provide support for his child younger than 18 years of age, or for his child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child.
    [Belcher v. State, 962 S.W.2d 653 (Tex. App. -- Austin 1998, no pet)]
Alternatives
Two indictment examples are provided:
  • Example 1, from Harris County, is a one-count indictment.
  • Example 2, from Rains County, is a multi-count indictment listing each missed payment for each child as a separate count.
Example 1
IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

The duly organized Grand Jury of [ ] County, Texas, presents in the [ ] District Court of [ ] County, Texas, that in [ ] County, Texas, [ ], hereafter styled the Defendant, heretofore on or about [ ], did then and there unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly fail to provide support for [ ], his child younger than 18 years of age (or his child who was the subject of a court order requiring the Defendant to support the said child.)
AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE.

Example 2
IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

The Grand Jurors of [ ] County, State of Texas, duly selected, impaneled, sworn, charged and organized as such at the [ ] Term, [ ] of the [ ] District Court of said County, Texas, upon their oaths present in and to said Court, that on or about the [ ] day of [ ], [ ], and before the presentation of this indictment, in said County and State, [ ], hereafter styled the Defendant, did then and there unlawfully, intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for his child, [CHILD 1], said child being the subject of a court order requiring the Defendant to support said child;

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid do further present in and to said Court, that on or about the [ ] day of [ ], [ ], and before the presentation of this indictment, in said County and State, [ ] did then and there intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for his child, [CHILD 2], said child being the subject of a court order requiring [OBLIGOR] to support said child;

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid do further present in and to said Court, that on or about the [ ] day of [ ], [ ], and before the presentation of this indictment, in said County and State, [ ] did then and there intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for his child, [CHILD 1], said child being the subject of a court order requiring [ ] to support said child;

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid do further present in and to said Court, that on or about the [ ] day of [ ], [ ], and before the presentation of this indictment, in said County and State, [ ] did then and there intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for his child, [CHILD 2], said child being the subject of a court order requiring [ ] to support said child;

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid do further present in and to said Court, that on or about the [ ] day of [ ], [ ], and before the presentation of this indictment, in said County and State, [ ] did then and there intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for his child, [CHILD 1], said child being the subject of a court order requiring [ ] to support said child;

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid do further present in and to said Court, that on or about the [ ] day of [ ], [ ], and before the presentation of this indictment, in said County and State, [ ] did then and there intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for his child, [CHILD 2], said child being the subject of a court order requiring [ ] to support said child;
(This continues for each child for each month for a year of missed payments.)
AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE.


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Revised: May 06 2010