Thursday, September 29, 2005

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Texas Attorney General Abbott Opens Child Support Hotline For Hurricane Rita Victims

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today urged parents from Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange and surrounding cities to call 1-866-291-6604 to inquire about their child support payments. Operators are standing by to obtain current addresses for mailing child support payments to parents from areas ravaged by Hurricane Rita.

“Parents depend on regular child support payments to meet their children’s basic needs. In times of disaster, the payments are even more crucial,” said Attorney General Abbott. “I encourage parents from the Golden Triangle who receive child support to call this toll-free number so payments can be mailed to their new addresses.”

As a result of Hurricane Rita, mail delivery addressed to zip codes beginning with 776 or 777 has been disrupted. Child support payments normally mailed to those areas will be re-routed as soon as parents contact child support officials with their new locations.

The toll-free number to the Attorney General’s Child Support Division is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT. Callers may experience delays due to heavy call volume.

In addition to calling 1-866-291-6604, parents who receive child support may access Child Support Interactive at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov to check on their payments. An eight-digit Customer Identification Number (CIN) is required to take advantage of this option. Parents who do not have a CIN can make an online request to receive one by mail.

Parents who pay child support may call 1-800-252-8014 to hear automated information about their child support cases. An eight-digit member identification number is needed to obtain a record of the parent’s last four child support payments, dates and locations of pending court hearings, dates of service on current legal actions, availability of genetic test results, and amounts due for current and past-due child support.

Direct deposit of child support into a parent’s bank account is one way to avoid problems associated with mailing payments. Parents receiving child support payments through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit can obtain a direct deposit authorization form by calling 1-800-252-8014 or by visiting the Attorney General’s website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov and selecting “Child Support.” To expedite the enrollment process, Hurricane Rita victims are encouraged to fax their authorization forms along with a copy of a cancelled check to Sue Hall at 512-460-6035.

The Attorney General’s Child Support Division offers an array of services to help families, including: locating absent parents; establishing paternity for children born to unmarried parents; establishing, enforcing, and modifying child and medical support orders; and collecting and distributing child support payments.