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Facts about TANF, Medicaid and child support in Texas

Some single parents in Texas require assistance from the government to make ends meet and to provide adequate health care for their child. This is where the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid come in. Child support is linked to TANF and Medicaid, and parents who receive help from these programs need to be aware of how this works. Those who receive TANF or Medicaid frequently do not realize that their case will be sent to child support services as a routine fact. The circumstances of how the parent came to need this governmental help are irrelevant.

The Office of the Attorney General of Texas will require the parent to take part in the case. There are certain federal laws when it comes to receiving TANF and Medicaid or other medical help that must be followed. The parent's cooperation is required so paternity can be established, child support orders can be settled, child support modification can be completed and child support enforcement can occur. There are various reasons why these issues are important.

Not only is knowing who the father is important to the child, but it is imperative when support payments are sought. For the child support order to be completed, the Attorney General's office must know where the other parent is, what he or she does for a living, and what the income and assets are. When seeking to have child support modification, there must be paperwork completed so the Attorney General's office can go over the facts and determine whether or not changes are applicable. Enforcing child support orders means that the other parent is not fulfilling his or her legal obligation making it possible that there will be seizure of assets and license suspensions as well as other penalties assessed until payments are up-to-date.

Parents who are having financial struggles or cannot get the child support payments they are owed for whatever reason should understand how the state handles these circumstances. Whether it is a parent who needs TANF, help with medical expenses, or simply wants help in getting the payments that are owed from the other parent, speaking to a legal professional can provide insight and assistance.

Source: texasattorneygeneral.gov, "Child Support and TANF/Medicaid," accessed on Nov. 17, 2015

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