To encourage parental responsibility, the Attorney General establishes paternity of children, establishes court orders for financial and medical support and vigorously enforces support orders. If in Dallas, you can contact a Dallas child support lawyer for extra assistance. The Attorney General promotes the emotional involvement of both parents in the life of the child by working with community groups, schools and hospitals. Attorney General employees will perform their duties in an efficient manner to minimize taxpayer expense and in a friendly fashion to maximize customer satisfaction.
In accordance with state and federal law, the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for the establishment and enforcement of child support. The Office of the Attorney General represents the state and cannot represent individuals involved in Texas Child Support claims. The Child Support Division determines, on a case-by-case basis, which of the child support services listed below are appropriate:
The Office of the Attorney General provides parents with a full range of child support services at no cost. The services are required by federal law and funded by the federal government and the State of Texas.
Paternity may be voluntarily established by agreement of both the mother and the father of the child. The parents can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP), which becomes a legal finding of paternity when it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. If the mother or alleged father is not sure about the paternity of the child, neither should sign an AOP. Paternity should be established through the courts. If the mother applies for services or is referred to the Child Support Division to establish paternity, she will be asked questions about men who may have fathered the child.
It is very important for the mother to provide as much information as she can to help determine the father’s identity. Paternity may be established even if the father is still in school or if he lives in another state.
Parenting and Paternity Awareness(P.A.P.A.)
P.A.P.A. is an innovative educational program designed for secondary school students and young adults. The program deals with rights, responsibilities, and realities of parenting. The Key themes in the program focus on the importance of:
The Office of the Attorney General is offering the 2008 edition of the 14-session curriculum and training at no charge to teachers, school counselors, school nurses, teen parent program staff, and parent educators in community-based programs. The p.a.p.a. curriculum is a method by which school districts can comply with state law passed in the 80th Legislature requiring high school health to include a parenting and paternity awareness curriculum. The OAG is coordinating with TEA and Regional Education Service Centers to train teachers, nurses and counselors. Community-based organizations and larger school districts may schedule training directly with the OAG.
Locate a parent
These services are available to individuals who are not receiving full Texas Child Support services, but who request help in locating a parent. These services may be requested only for the purpose of:
The State Parent Locator Service provides only information about the missing parent's possible location(s). The State Parent Locator Service obtains the latest available address and employment information about the missing parent from state and federal records, and forwards that information to the applicant. The State Parent Locator Service is not permitted to verify or investigate the information obtained, and cannot guarantee that the missing parent will be found. You may apply for State Parent Locator Service if you are:
Questions And Answers
Who can apply for Texas Child Support services and what is the fee?
The Attorney General’s office accepts applications from mothers, fathers, and other individuals who have possession of a child. Our attorneys represent the State of Texas in providing child support services and do not represent either parent in the case. Applicants do not have the right to select what enforcement actions are taken in their cases. The Office of the Attorney General is required to provide all appropriate services for the benefit of the children. Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) recipients automatically receive child support services, but persons who do not receive TANF must apply for Title IV-D child support services. There is no fee to apply for child support services provided by the Office of the Attorney General.
Locating a non-custodial parent
The most important information an applicant can provide, aside from the non-custodial parent’s current address, is the name and address of the non-custodial parent’s current employer. If the current employer is not known, the name and address of the last known employer should be provided. Additionally, the following information about the non-custodial parent should be made available:
How do TANF recipients seek Texas Child Support?
To receive TANF benefits through the Texas Department of Human Services, recipients must cooperate with the Office of the Attorney General’s efforts to identify the child(ren)’s non-custodial parent and collect Texas Child Support. TANF recipients must also assign to the State the right to collect child support. All payments collected in the case while the family receives TANF benefits are applied toward reimbursing the state and federal governments for TANF benefits received by the family. However, the family will receive up to $50 a month as a supplemental TANF payment during the months that child support is paid. When the family goes off TANF, all current support payments are sent to the custodial parent.
Only the Court can modify a Texas Child Support order. It cannot be done by agreement of the parties. Grounds for a modification include a material and substantial change in the circumstances of a child or a person affected by the order, or the passage of three years since the last child support order and a difference in monthly payment by either 20 percent or $100 from the child support guidelines. A parent subject to a child support order may request a review of the ordered child support amounts every three years by contacting the Office of the Attorney General.
If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures to collect regular and past-due payments. The Texas Child Support Division uses many techniques to enforce child support orders, including:
Child Support Definitions:
Genetic and Blood Testing
Genetic and blood testing is the process that compares the characteristics of the genes of the parties to predict the probability, or exclude the possibility, that an alleged father is the biological father of a child.
Income withholding is the deduction of the current basic support, child care support, medical support, or spousal support obligation and arrears from an obligor's wages or other sources of income.
The obligor is a person obligated to pay maintenance or support. A person who has primary physical custody of a child is presumed not to be an obligor for the purposes of child support. For purposes of ordering medical support, a parent who has primary physical custody of a child may be an obligor subject to a payment agreement.
An alleged father is a man who claims or is claimed by another person to be the father of a child, but who has not been legally determined to be the father of that child.
Texas Child Support Customer Service
Automated payment and case information:
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please call our Deaf
Office of the Attorney General
Acknowledgment of Paternity questions
Office of the Attorney General
Texas Child Support Debit Card
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.