Office of the Attorney General
The Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General is available to help custodial parents enforce child-support orders and collect regular and unpaid support payments. Custodial parents can apply for these services on the Attorney General’s website or by requesting that the office mail an application form. The Child Support Division may require a copy of the divorce decree and existing support order as part of the application, along with additional information such as the noncustodial parent’s Social Security number.
If the custodial parent knows where the noncustodial parent lives and works, it may not be difficult for her to get the noncustodial parent to pay as ordered. However, if the custodial parent cannot locate the noncustodial parent, the Attorney General provides a range of services that include locating the noncustodial parent using government resources. Once the noncustodial parent is located, the Attorney General can pursue collection of court-ordered support.
Typically, court orders contain instructions for the noncustodial parent’s employer to collect child-support payments directly from the noncustodial parent’s pay and send that money to the state for distribution to the custodial parent. The Attorney General can use income withholding to collect past-due payments, too. Employers who do not properly deduct income and report it to the state face penalties for violating Texas law.
The Attorney General has other options to help a custodial parent collect past- due support and enforce support orders. For example, the Attorney General can intercept a noncustodial parent's federal tax refund and file liens against his property. The noncustodial parent’s state-issued licenses can be suspended, including his driver’s license and professional licenses. The Attorney General may help the custodial parent go back to court to have the judge enter a contempt-of- court judgment against the noncustodial parent, and the court can put the noncustodial parent in jail.