On behalf of The Law Offices of Mary Ann Beaty, PC posted in Child Support on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

So now, as a custodial parent in Dallas, you’ve decided to exercise your right to seek financial support from the noncustodial parent of your child. You’ve gathered the necessary paperwork to support your claim for child support and you’ve headed down to one of the local field offices of the Texas Attorney General to process your request.

You’re pleased to find that there is not going to be any kind of fee associated with your application itself. On the other hand, you may or may not be entirely satisfied with the amount of time it’s going to take to process your request.

If you showed up at the office with a documented court order for child support, and you had the noncustodial parent’s employer information and Social Security number handy, payments could begin relatively quickly as the agency orders the funds automatically withheld from that individual’s paycheck. On the other hand, if the agency has to locate the noncustodial parent and exert efforts to collect payments beyond a simple administrative income withholding order, there may be no clear indication of when you’ll begin to receive your payments.

An important matter to keep in mind is that once you’ve finalized your application, you cannot change your mind. The Attorney General’s Office will take any and all enforcement actions against the noncustodial parent that is deems appropriate, with the goal of obtaining support for the child. These may include license suspension and even, in some cases, jail time.

The exception to the above is recipients on Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, for whom child support services are included in their benefits. These are special cases which we’ll explore in greater depth in a subsequent blog entry.

We remind our Dallas readers that these overviews are provided as general information only, and not specific legal advice. A family law professional can help examine what options are available to a custodial parent who needs to support a child.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, “CS Parents Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed on Feb. 6, 2015