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Child support enforcement in Texas by UIFSA

Typically, courts across the United States, including in Texas, order the non-custodial parent to pay child support. However, collecting a child support order is often difficult. The U.S. now recognizes the problem and all states must formally adopt the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act in order to collect child support. All states, including Texas, also have agencies to assist with the child support enforcement.

Even if there is no child support order, the order can be established. For instance, if a parent in Texas does not have a child support order, UIFSA can collaborate with another state to establish the child support order. Before the enforcement of UIFSA and the federal law, different states could enforce different child support orders. However, that caused a delay in child support enforcement. UIFSA allows one active child support order across the board. The child support order is known as the "controlling order."

Child support orders can also be registered in many states, including Texas. The orders that are registered in another state can also be registered in Texas. For registering the order, the state agency that is initiating the child support order sends it with the relevant documents to the other state. The recipient state then registers the child support order and sends a notice to the supporting parent, who is given 20 days to object.

If the parent sends an objection before the 20-day period has elapsed, a hearing is scheduled. The parents are sent a notice about the location, time and date of the hearing. Then the court will decide if the child support order can be enforced in that state. Also, the amount of child support to be paid is decided at that point.

Parents in Texas who are making child support payments and need an adjustment -- or parents who are not receiving child support payments - may find it helpful to speak with a family law attorney.

Source: TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov, "UIFSA The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act," Accessed on Feb.4, 2015

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