Service of Citation on Title IV-D Agency

The Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division is the state “Title IV-D agency” that is designated under the Texas Family Code Chapter 231 to provide child support services under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act. In addition to providing child support services for parents who wish to obtain or provide support for their children, the Child Support Division operates the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). The SDU is the centralized unit that is responsible for receiving, distributing and maintaining and furnishing child support payments and records.

Because a court may order child support payments in a non-Office of the Attorney case to be paid through the SDU, there has been confusion on whether the Office of the Attorney General should be served in subsequent actions. Service of citation or notice is not required on non-Office of the Attorney General cases in which collections are ordered through the SDU. Notice is only required if the petition requests the establishment, modification, or enforcement of a support right assigned to the IV-D agency under Chapter 231.

Service of Citation or Notice Required on Title IV- D Agency

The Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division is entitled to service of citation:

  • if the petition requests the termination of the parent-child relationship and support rights have been assigned to the Title IV-D agency

The Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division is entitled to Notice under Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure:

  • if the petition requests the establishment, modification, or enforcement of a support right assigned to the IV-D agency under chapter 231
  • in a rescission of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity under chapter 160 assigned to the IV-D agency under chapter 231

[TFC 102.009]

Service of Citation or Notice is not required on Title IV-D Agency:

  • in non-Office of the Attorney General cases
  • in non-Office of the Attorney General cases in which the support order directs payments to be paid through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU)

If additional assistance is needed regarding service of citation or notice to the Office of the Attorney General, please contact Pamela Davis at: pamela.davis@texasattorneygeneral.gov.


Revised: March 01 2012