On behalf of The Law Offices of Mary Ann Beaty, PC posted in Child Support on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

Raising a child can be an incredibly challenging endeavor. Some days, Dallas parents are so overwhelmed with everything from getting the kids to school on time to getting supper on the table and making sure the bills are paid, it’s hard to imagine the added burden of trying to obtain child support payments from a noncustodial parent as well. It may help, however, to review some of the Texas Attorney General’s step-by-step information in response to the question: how does one go about getting child support payments?

The Attorney General’s Office is the state agency that handles requests to establish child support. Their website maintains a list of field offices; there are four Dallas locations. When you go to an appointment at one of these offices, two of the most important pieces of information to bring will be the noncustodial parent’s name and address, and the name and address of their employer (current if possible, although last known is better than nothing). Contact information for friends and family, banks, utility companies, associations they belong to and even where they spend their free time can help the agency in location efforts.

Of course, you’ll also need documentation to support your claim for child support. If there is a court order for child support, that’s obviously crucial, but bring a divorce decree or any other agreement regarding your separation if possible. Mothers seeking child support from noncustodial fathers should bring paternity documents, if they have them, as well as the children’s birth certificates. Bank statements, tax paperwork and anything else to establish the parents’ income will also be useful to the AGO.

Once you have collected all of the relevant information and opened a case for child support, there are a number of important decisions to make. We present this not as specific legal advice, only as general information — but a legal professional will be well placed to answer specific questions before heading into an appointment at an AGO field office. We’ll look more at what options parents have in a follow-up post.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, “CS Parents Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed on Feb. 1, 2015