When your child lives with his or her other parent, the state may require you to pay child support. The Texas Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division manages this process for state residents.

The child support system ensures that children who live in the state receive financial support from both parents. The calculation uses income, expenses and other factors.

Applying for child support

 Custodial parents can apply for child support online through the attorney general’s office. You need to provide personal and financial information for both you and your child’s other parent. You can also apply by mail by downloading or requesting a paper application form.

Undergoing the Child Support Review Process

 Once you submit your application, the Child Support Review Process establishes the child support amount. This in-person meeting involves both parents along with a child support officer and takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Ideally, the CSO is able to help negotiate a child support agreement that is fair for both parents and provides for the child’s needs. If this is the case, the judge will sign the agreement. The court will uphold the agreement and require both parties to follow its terms.

Attending a child support hearing

 If you cannot come to an agreement with the other parent or you feel unsafe attending a CSRP because of domestic violence, a court hearing takes place to determine child support. You will receive a notice in the mail with the date, time and location. If an agreement is not reached during this hearing, the judge makes the final determination.

 If you are the custodial parent and are not sure who the child’s father is or do not know how to find the other parent, the Texas Child Support Division can help. If you apply for child support services, professionals can attempt to locate the other parent and establish paternity if necessary so that every child can receive the support he or she needs.