Texas child support services include court-ordered payments to help you cover the costs of child care. Child support can help if you are raising your children as a single parent or you are divorced and have custody of your children. Child support enforcement policies ensure that the absent parent, sometimes called a noncustodial parent, is responsible for making his or her court-ordered payments. In Texas, the child support service is managed by the Office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General determines who is responsible for making child support payments, creates court orders to establish those payments and handles the enforcement of child support when payments are not made. Going through a TX child support case can be a challenging legal process, but child support lawyers can help your case. You can find answers to all your child support questions, such as, “What does child support cover?” and how an attorney can help you get the support you need in the sections below.
The Texas child support system is designed for the benefit of children. When you get child support services, the funds you receive will help you pay for your child’s basic needs. Such needs may include health care, education, groceries, utility bills, rent and other basic items that create a safe environment for a child. What child support does not cover is generally any expense that does not benefit your child, either directly or indirectly. You may use the funds you receive from a child support service at your own discretion.
Child support in TX can be obtained if you are a mother, father or guardian raising children in the state. The Child Support Division of the Attorney General’s office in Texas processes all applications for services. Hiring a child support lawyer can help you get through the application process more easily. Before applying for a child support service, it is important to know that your information will be shared as needed with other agencies. If you are afraid for your safety due to family violence, then notify the Attorney General’s office before submitting an application.
You may apply for Texas child support online or request an application to be sent in the mail. In general, you will need the following information for your application:
Upon receiving a child support application, the Texas Attorney General will take steps to enforce child support orders. Child support services may be delayed if the other parent needs to be located or paternity needs to be established. The Attorney General handles these issues as well, but payments may be delayed until these issues are resolved. If paternity needs to be established, then the Attorney General will request that the father signs an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If the father does not agree to sign the form, then testing will be done to establish who the biological father is.
If one parent cannot be located for a Texas child support payment, then the Attorney General will need as much information as possible to locate the absent parent. To get child support in this situation, you may need to provide information on the absent parent such as:
When child support payments do not arrive on time or the absent parent refuses to pay at all, the Texas Attorney General or a private child support lawyer can enforce payments. Texas child support can still be enforced if the noncustodial parent lives outside of the state. If a parent refuses to pay, then he or she may face penalties such as paycheck withholdings from an employer, interception of tax returns, drivers license revocation, liens against property or a lawsuit.
A private child support attorney can also help locate and enforce child support payments if you need help.
Obtaining child support in Texas can be a complicated process, especially if you and the noncustodial parent do not agree on the terms of your child support order. While the Attorney General’s office can process your application, locate an absent parent and enforce court orders, you may still face challenges. In a child support case, the Attorney General’s office does not take sides and does not show preference to the parent who is seeking support. A child support lawyer, on the other hand, will fight for your best interests. Child support lawyers’ fees vary based on the length of your court process. However, having a lawyer will help you get through the court process with more ease.