Records obtained by the Houston Chronicle show that of about one million parents across Texas who are required to pay child support, nearly half fell behind on payments last year by at least a month.
The Texas attorney general's office goes after parents who aren't paying child support. Spokeswoman Janece Rolfe says collectors are seeing their caseloads increase and that more parents are applying to have their obligations reduced.
State and national authorities say a fluctuating economy and erratic jobless rates are taking a toll on parents who pay child support. Delinquencies appeared to peak in 2009.