IV-D Courts: Texas Attorney General Child Support Cases
The Texas Attorney General is a state agency and one of its divisions is Child Support. The IV-D courts are special administrative courts designed to handle cases from the Attorney General only. Most Family Law Judges choose to refer their AG cases to IV-D court. Special appointed IV-D court judges hear these cases.
This is a high volume court meaning they handle a lot cases each day. You can request a case with the AG for paternity, child support, and enforcement of child support; however most AG cases are initiated by the State of Texas because the person with the kids has received some kind of help from the State, like AFDC, food stamps or medical insurance.
Helpful hits for IV-D court:
- Your case will be assigned to a specific unit based on where you live. Specific AG’s, legal assistants and child support workers will be assigned to you and they will work with all parties to try and work out an agreement. If no agreement can be reached the judge will hear the case, usually in the same day.
- Be patient and realize things may not get resolved on the first trip to court. Both parties have to get proper legal notice, before things can proceed.
- If you are not married, the potential dad can request a blood test to establish Paternity to make sure he is the dad. You will be required to take the child to the lab.
- The AG, Legal Assistants and Caseworkers will try and workout an agreement based on the law for child support, medical support, and visitation. Bring your pay check stubs, insurance, and ID with you to court it will make things go faster.
- Any money due back to the State for retroactive/back support will be considered in these cases.
- If you are behind in child support the AG can ask for jail time from the court. They would rather work out a solid agreement so the money is paid for the kids. If they ask for jail time you can hire or will be appointed a attorney.
- The court will order visitation rights according to the age of the kids. It is important that both parents have time with the kids and the AG will follow family law guidelines for establishing this. Expect the person without possession to get visitation rights.
- The court will order the money agreed to out of the owing persons paycheck however you are paid. If you are paid every two weeks your employer will be ordered by the court to take it out every two weeks.
When I go to these courts for my clients the goal is to come up with an agreement that the parties and Attorney General can be satisfied with and comply with. Some circumstances require a hearing in front of the judge and my goal is to advocate for an order my clients can abide by and have positive involvement in their children’s lives.
IV-D Court in Houston