April 23, 2023
The Texas Attorney General is the state’s chief legal officer and the Office of the Attorney General represents the state in civil litigation. The Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is a division of the wider office and the Texan state agency responsible for child support. The OAG can establish, enforce, and modify child support orders, as well as assist with establishing paternity and locating non-custodial parents to facilitate child support payment. Other aspects of family law, such as divorce or adoption, are not handled by the OAG.
The Child Support Review Process (CSRP) is a legal process the OAG provides for the involved parties to discuss their situation and reach an agreement outside of court. These meetings typically take place at a local child support office and are overseen by a Child Support Officer (CSO). Topics discussed can or will include monetary support, medical support, dental support, and paternity. If an agreement is reached, the CSO will file the agreement with the court. Once reviewed and signed by a judge, the agreement becomes a legally binding order. CSRP allows people to avoid the difficulty, time, expense, and public accessibility of going to court.
However, not all situations can be remedied through or are eligible for CSRP. Cases where an agreement cannot be reached in CSRP will likely have to go to court. Additionally, cases where there are concerns of violence, one party is a minor, or the OAG determines the case is otherwise inappropriate for CSRP may have to be heard in court as well. During the court proceedings, the parties will once again attempt to negotiate an agreement. If still unable to reach a final compromise, a judge will decide.
The OAG represents the state, and not either party involved in a child support issue. And while common sentiment might be that the OAG works to the benefit of the party seeking support, OAG attorneys are meant to be neutral (though it may be best to hire private counsel to ensure that neutrality is maintained – attorneys are human and have biases) and the custodial parent cannot simply request any child support amount they wish.
To better navigate your child support issue, consider reaching out to a family law attorney for a consultation or representation. Experienced family lawyers, such as that at the Brandy Austin Law Firm, will have the repertoire necessary to protect your best interests and smooth your experience with the Office of the Attorney General.