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What options are available for child support enforcement?

In Texas, parents have different options and resources available to them to ensure they receive the child support necessary for their children's growth, development and success. The Texas Attorney General's office assists parents with the establishment of paternity, establishing court orders for financial and medical support and assists with the enforcement of child support orders.

The Attorney General's office assists with establishing paternity, locating absent parents, establishing modifying and enforcing child support orders and collection and distribution of child support funds. All actions are taken for the benefit of the children and different enforcement actions may be taken.

Parents who fail to pay required child support can face a number of negative consequences and penalties; including wage withholding; income tax refund interception; filing of liens on property or other assets; license suspension, including driver's or occupational licenses; and jail time in some circumstances. Parents and other individuals may request the services of the Attorney General's office in child support matters.

There is a variety of information that the Attorney General's office may require when conducting child support enforcement activities. Only the court can order a child support modification. A child support modification may be granted based on a material and substantial change in the circumstances of a child or party impacted by the order. A child support order may also be modified after three years and in certain circumstances. A paying parent can request a review of a child support order every 3 years.

The family law legal system provides a number of resources to parents paying and receiving child support. Because child support is an important issue for many parents, it is helpful for parents to understand the process, what options are available to them and what to expect.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, "Child Support Parents Frequently Asked Questions," Accessed Jan. 5, 2016

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