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Attorney General's role in the Texas child support program

According to its mission statement, the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division assists custodial parents in obtaining financial assistance to address the needs of a child. The Texas Attorney General has the authority to establish paternity of children and issue all court orders pertaining to child support.

The Attorney General also encourages the involvement of both parents in the upbringing of a child and conducts various programs through schools, hospitals and community groups to promote that idea. All activities that are conducted by the state's Child Support Division are designed to address three major priorities of the agency: children, collections and customer service.

Like other states, many parents in Texas are either paying or receiving child support but not all of them are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities under state law. The Attorney General's Office helps in this regard by clearly stating the rights and responsibilities on its website and also answering numerous other questions that a parent may have regarding child support.

According to the program, a parent has three basic rights pertaining to child support:

  • All personal information about a parent, including physical address, is confidential.
  • The agency will provide timely and professional customer service to parents.
  • The agency will always submit a written inquiry or complaint regarding a case.

Similarly, there are certain responsibilities that a parent has with regard to child support:

  • A parent should have all documents in order.
  • A parent should appear in court, when ordered.
  • A parent should comply with court orders and provide support to a child.
  • A parent should notify the Attorney General's office about any changes in contact information.

Another important point to note here is that per state and federal laws, the Attorney General's Office is entrusted with establishing and enforcing child support orders and that the Attorney General represents the state and cannot represent an individual who has filed a child support claim. For individual representation and other related queries, a parent may consider retaining an attorney.

Source: TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov, "About the Child Support Program," Accessed on Jan. 14, 2015

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