How To Apply For Child Support In Texas

child support texas

How To Apply For Child Support In Texas


In this article, I will explain how to apply for child support in Texas.

This guide will help you to understand the basics of how the child support process works in Texas.

In addition, you will learn about the following child support topics: 

  • How to establish paternity in Texas
  • The process of adding a father to a Texas birth certificate
  • Information you will need about the noncustodial parent to apply for child support
  • How to estimate the amount of child support you will get each month
  • Your options for paying or receiving child support
  • Who to contact to modify your child support order
  • What are the penalties for not paying child support 

As you can see there is a lot to cover, so let’s get started. 

Editor’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitution for legal advice. For questions about a child support case, you are encouraged to speak to a family law attorney or contact the Texas Attorney General‘s Office.

Establish Paternity In Texas

Before you can file for child support in Texas, you will need to establish paternity. You can establish paternity in 3 different ways:

  1. Marriage. If your child was born while you and your partner were married this is one way to establish paternity in Texas.
  2. Court Ordered Paternity Test. The second way to establish paternity is through a court-ordered test. The Attorney General‘s Office may request that a paternity test be performed if the mother and father disagree about the paternity.
  3. Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP). Parents who are not married at the time of the birth of the child can use this legal document to establish the paternity of the child.

How To Add A Father To A Texas Birth Certificate

The first step to adding a father to your child‘s birth certificate is to establish paternity. After this, you will need to complete a Vital Statistics Form that allows you to correct a Texas birth certificate. You can find this document by visiting the Vital Applications and Forms page and scrolling down to the Correcting A Birth Certificate pdf.

2 Ways To Apply For Child Support In Texas

If you need to apply for Texas child support, you have 2 options; apply online or by mail.

Apply For Child Support Online

If you are a custodial parent who is seeking Texas child support you can apply online. To complete an online child support application, you will need to visit the Texas Attorney General‘s website. Here you will find the application and step by step instructions on applying for child support

Apply For Child Support By Mail

The second way to apply for child support is by mail. You will need to complete an application and then mail it to the Texas Attorney General‘s office.

To get an application you can either:

  • Contact the Texas AG Office at 800.252.8014 and have an application mailed to you.
  • Visit the Texas AG website to request that an application be mailed to you.

What Do I Need To Apply For Child Support In Texas?

The information that you will need to know to apply for child support will include things about yourself and your child‘s parent. Specific things that will help your child support case include information like:

  • The social security number of the noncustodial parent
  • A driver’s license number
  • Telephone numbers to reach your child‘s parent
  • The biological father or mother’s employment history
  • The name and phone number of any attorney that is representing you

Essentially the more information you can provide about your child‘s father or mother, the better.

How Do You Calculate Child Support In Texas?

The easiest way to estimate how much you should be paying in child support (or receiving) is by using the Monthly Child Support Calculator.

This calculator will use the following sources of information to determine an estimate of how much child support should be paid each month.

  • Whether you or self-employed or an employee?
  • How much income do you receive on a monthly or weekly basis?
  • The amount of money you pay toward your child‘s medical or dental coverage.
  • How many children you are ordered to pay child support for.
  • The number of other children that you legally take care of.

Keep in mind, this tool can only give you an estimate of what you could pay/receive. The official amount will be determined by the court.

How To Pay Your Texas Child Support

The Attorney General gives you a number of ways to pay your child support. Those include:

  1. Pay by mail
  2. Use a debit or credit card
  3. They accept cash and money orders
  4. They offer wage withholdings where child support is deducted from your paycheck.
  5. According to the Texas AG’s Office, 80% of payments are made this way.
  6. Bank auto draft
  7. Finally, pay at a child support pay kiosk. These are typically located at county courthouses

2 Ways To Receive Child Support Payments In Texas

Your two options for receiving child support checks are via direct deposit or a Texas Payment card. This is essentially a prepaid card that your child support payments will be added to each month.

How To Modify Your Texas Child Support Payments

As the paying parent, the way that you make your child support payments each month to the court is up to you.

The amount that you pay will be up to the Attorney General‘s office. If you need to pay less for child support, you will need a court order for a child support modification.

There are three different types of changes that may affect Texas child support:

  • Employment Changes
  • Medical Coverage Changes
  • Support Modification

If there are any of these changes be sure to contact the Attorney General‘s office to review your case. Income that increases or decreases could make you eligible for a Texas child support payment modification.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support?

The Texas Attorney General can take a number of legal actions against you or the biological parent if they do not pay child support. Some of the strategies that they use for child support enforcement include:

  • Suspending your driver’s license or a professional license.
  • Jailing you or issuing fines based upon the number of missed child support payments.
  • Rejecting your application for a new or renewed passport.
  • Wage garnishment.
  • Placing a lien on your home, a bank account, or injury settlement checks.
  • Taking the child support out of winnings from the Texas Lottery.
  • Reporting the failure to pay child support to various credit bureaus.

Conclusion

Texas child support is a complex issue that can have long-term implications for Texas families. The Attorney General‘s office provides resources to help navigate the process of applying for Texas child support, paying Texas child support, and modifying Texas child support payments.

If you need assistance with any other legal matters related to Texas family law, you can visit the Texas Attorney General‘s Office website or call them at 800.252.8014.

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