mom and son

The child support process can feel overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. Knowing what comes next can help you feel prepared and empowered to participate in the process.

The Child Support Process

Because each family is unique, each family's child support case is unique. Here is a list of topics that may apply to you. (Click on each to learn more.)

1. Establish Paternity

One of the most important parts of a child support case is establishing paternity—i.e., legal fatherhood. Paternity establishment can help dads build an emotional bond and a legal relationship with their child(ren).

Learn more about Paternity

2. Establish a Court Order

A child support order establishes the amount of child, medical and dental support a noncustodial parent must pay each month. In Texas, child support orders also address conservatorship (custody) and possession and access time (visitation).

Learn more about Establishing an Order

3. Collect Child Support

The Child Support Division is responsible for collecting and disbursing support payments. There are a variety of ways for parents to pay or receive child support.

Learn more about Paying & Receiving Child Support

4. Enforce Child Support

When a parent fails to pay their support obligation, we will use the tools we have available, including asking the court to enforce its court order.

Learn more about What We Can and Cannot Do

Learn more about How We Enforce

5. Support Texas Families

Our mission is to help children get the support they deserve. That's why we are constantly developing new, innovative ways to serve Texas families.

Learn about our Program & Initiatives