Frequently Asked Questions

The Child Support Division in the Office of the Attorney General assists parents in obtaining the financial support necessary for children to grow up and succeed in life.

To encourage parental responsibility, the Office of the Attorney General establishes paternity of children, establishes court orders for financial and medical support, and enforces support orders. The Attorney General promotes the involvement of both parents in their childrenís lives by working with community groups, schools and hospitals. In the performance of their duties on behalf of Texas children, child support staff focus on efficiency, effectiveness and customer service.

Custodial parents can call the 24-hour hotline at (800) 252-8014 to receive automated information. With their customer identification numbers (CIN), they can receive information on payments and case status without having to wait for a caseworker.

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Services

What does the child support program do?
Who can apply for child support services and what is the fee?
Where do people apply for child support services with the Office of the Attorney General?
How long before payments begin?
What information does the Office of the Attorney General need to locate a noncustodial parent?
What documents are needed by the Office of the Attorney General?
How do parents obtain an agreed order?
Can grandparents open a child support case to establish support for their grandchild(ren)?
How do TANF recipients seek child support?
I have some child support issues, but I am deaf. How do I go about communicating with the Attorney Generalís Office?
What if a person no longer wants the Office of the Attorney General's services?
How can child support be changed?
What if the noncustodial parent is still in school and has no money?

Paternity

If an unmarried father is already providing support, is it necessary to establish paternity?
How does paternity establishment affect custody and visitation?
How is paternity established?
What happens if the father signs the Acknowledgment of Paternity?
Where can we complete the Acknowledgment of Paternity form?
What if the father wants to sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity but cannot come to the hospital?
What if the mother is married to someone else at the time of the childís birth or the baby is born within 300 days of the date of her divorce?
What if the mother is not sure who the father is?
What if the pregnancy was unplanned?
What if the father does not believe it is his child?
Who pays for the paternity test?
What if one or both parents change their mind after they have signed the AOP and it has been filed at VSU?

Minor Parents

Why do minor parents have to provide their parent/legal guardianís information?
What is a next friend?
Who can serve as a next friend?
What if a parent/legal guardian is unwilling or unable to serve as the adult representative for a minor parent on an open child support case?
If the paternal grandparents are providing support on behalf of the childís father, is it necessary to establish paternity?

Enforcement

What if the child's noncustodial parent lives in another state?
What if the noncustodial parent gets behind in child support payments or refuses to pay?

License Suspension

Who is affected by the license suspension law?
What types of licenses are usually suspended?
How many licensing agencies are involved?
How does the process work?

Custody and Visitation

Can a parent take custody of the child instead of making child support payments?
Does the Office of the Attorney General handle custody and visitation disputes?
Is a noncustodial parent entitled to visit the child if he or she is not paying child support?

Mistaken Paternity


What if a man believes he is not the father of a child for whom a court has previously ordered him to pay child support?
How does a legal father who questions his paternity end the duty to pay child support?
What are the timeframes for filing a petition to terminate parental rights based on a belief of mistaken paternity?
What if a man knew at the time that paternity was established (by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity or through a court order) that he was not the childís biological father?
What is the role of the OAG in helping a legal father who questions his paternity to end his child support obligation?
Once a court terminates the parent-child relationship, when will the manís duty to pay child support end?
Can a man have contact with the child after his parental rights are terminated?

Private Child Support Collection Agencies

Can any other agency handle child support enforcement cases?
Can a private child support collection agency process my case faster?

Community Services and Volunteer Program

I have some extra time on my hands and would like to put that time to good use helping others. Does the Office of the Attorney General need volunteers?

Child Support Fees

Who will be charged a fee?
When will the fees take effect?
Why are parents being charged a fee?
Since payments on full-service child support cases are processed through the SDU, will parents be required to pay both the $25 annual service fee and the $3 monthly SDU fee?
Will any of the proposed fees affect the amount a noncustodial parent pays each month?
Will the OAG continue to provide some services free-of-charge?
What happens when a full-service case is closed?
What are the benefits of switching from a registry-only case to a full-service case?
Can the fees be lowered?
Will collection of the fee delay disbursement of the child support payment?
How will a custodial parent know if a fee was withheld from a child support payment?
Do employers have to do anything about these fees?

As mandated by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act of 1975 and designated by the State of Texas, 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 of Texas and cannot represent individuals involved in child support suits.


Revised: January 05 2012