Dealing with the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General

by Marissa Balius

The Attorney General of Texas is the child support collection agency in the State of Texas. Dealing with the child support division of the Texas Attorney General (OAG) can be a frustrating process even for the most experienced attorney. Here are some tips that will help you with the process:

 

  1. Know your OAG number. You need to provide it on all communications with the OAG. It is your identification number with their office. The number should also be on all communication they send you.
  2. If the OAG is reporting you have a child support arrearage (back support payments) and you believe that the information they are reporting is wrong, ask for a child support arrearage calculation from their office. This document will show each payment due, each payment made and any interest that has accrued on the account. Take this payment record and every court order that required you to pay or receive child support to your own attorney to review.
  3. When you call or go into the Attorney General’s office, write the name and title of the person helping you and take good notes of your conversation for future reference. In my experience, they do not always keep good records, and inevitably you will get conflicting information.
  4. The OAG is not a neutral party. If they are involved in your case they have an interest! Discussions you have with anyone in their office are not protected by attorney-client privilege and can be used against you in court.
  5. If you are served with a legal document filed by the Attorney General or receive a Notice of Child Support Review Conference, hire an attorney immediately. DO NOT go to court or attend a Child Support Review Conference without your own attorney. You need your own representative to explain the legal process and advocate for you. If you are unable to retain counsel before your first court appearance or Child Support Review appointment, be careful about what you sign. They may have you sign an appearance of counsel or waiver of service or other document that may seem harmless at the time but may adversely affect your case.
  6. Each child support office has a customer liaison and each region has an ombudsman, a liaison between the public and the child support office that tries to resolve customer complaints. If you are not getting action or the results you and your attorney deem appropriate, ask for the ombudsman’s name and contact information. Lastly, if all else fails, contact your state senator and representative. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area state congressmen have a lot of leverage in dealing with the child support office and in my experience they can get the ball rolling when all else fails.
  7. The OAG sends out a variety of letters: DO NOT DISCARD THEM. Keep everything you receive as many of the letters have time frames to respond, hearing dates and in-office appointment dates and times. The OAG has the power to ruin your credit, garnish your wages and levy your bank accounts; any correspondence you receive is important!
  8. Don’t count on their employees for legal advice! By law, they should not be giving legal advice to either parent, and the information they provide is not always accurate.

If you need an expert to help you navigate through a case with the Attorney General’s office please contact me via email at mbalius@ahrlawfirm.com or by phone at 214-423-5100.

Marissa Balius knows the ins and outs of the Texas Attorney General’s office. She is an experienced family law litigator with sixteen years of experience, including ten years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Child Support Division.

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About ahrlawfirm
Albin | Harrison | Roach is an experienced family law, business litigation and criminal law firm serving clients in Collin, Dallas, and Denton counties. We have made it our mission to put the true meaning of “counsel” back into legal services. At Albin | Harrison | Roach, legal services aren’t viewed as a series of isolated legal events but as a comprehensive resource to protect, enhance and simplify the personal and professional lives of our clients. Our highly-skilled attorneys practice in the areas of divorce and family law, business litigation and transactions, employment law, criminal defense, collaborative law, estate planning, wills and probate.

7 Responses to Dealing with the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General

  1. Donald Butschek says:

    I live in Victoria TX . Last year I was involved in work related injury and auto accident got behind on child support payments the OAG has liens on all insurance moneys from the auto accident. They are after me and are very rude.
    I feel very frustrated and am losing bope. Please help me

  2. Victoria says:

    This is my experience. this is the letter I sent them in a complaint. I’m sure nothing will be done about it, but I am going to make noise.

    The experience I have had the he processing of an increase in child support, has been absolutely unacceptable. On April 31st 2015, a judge signed the increase from $500-$725 per month. Not only did the court send it to the appropriate AG office, but I faxed it as well(have conformations still). I then called to verify its receival, and it was received. A few weeks later I called and was told it was still being processed. Called again in a few weeks and was told they didn’t have it. The digital file was lost. So, I re-sent it. After several months of waiting, inquiry calls, and patience, I requested to speak with a supervisor. I don’t recall her name, but she was very helpful and not only made sure it got processed through that next day, but also did the set-up for the money that was owed in arrears for $110 per month. This was sometime at the end of Sept. By the time for the Nov. child support payment was processed, everything was good to go and got a deposit of $803. This was deducting the annual processing fee and was told that the entire requested $110 for arrears was not sent by me ex’s employer(Army, not sure why they would not.) Either way, no big deal.
    Well, now it is December 6th. I wake up and check my tx eppicard account, and I see a deposit of $485! I proceed to loose it and began to hysterically cry. How does this happen? I, once again, call the AG office and am told that she “DOESN’T SEE A NEW ORDER.” So, currently I am waiting for a phone call back from a supervisor there, at the pflugerville location, by the name of Alisa to find out what, how, why, and what is going to be done to resolve this.
    How am I supposed to pay my bills? Mind you, it is christmas in 3 weeks. And, I already go so behind, used the excuse of the “AG not having processed increase to my landlord,” and borrowed money for 4 months already. I thought that was all behind me and here I go again. This is in NO WAY OKAY! SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW ABOUT IT. I can’t wait another 2-3 months after having to re-sent the child support increase order. My daughter and I could be homeless by then.

  3. Tracy M. says:

    The Texas attorney general withholds the support I get periodically throughout the year for one full month… Even though I am supposed to receive a payment every two weeks. They refuse to accept responsibility by neglecting to send payments. They blame my kids’ father for not sending it. It comes out of his check automatically each pay period and is sent to Austin for processing by the accounts department. Why do they withhold it? Why do they lie and say they never received it?

    I have proof from the employer that they send payment every pay period… Yet the attorney generals office still says they didn’t receive it. Are they holding it and collecting some kind of interest on it somehow? I get a whopping $400 a month from an absent “dad” I am a single mother raising my children on my own. It’s hard enough trying to make it without the father let alone dealing a system that doesn’t keep their word on the process; they aren’t making life any easier withholding payments! I have sent letters to my state representatives to no avail.

    I am struggling and they don’t seem to care. I don’t know what to do. I feel I am at their mercy because I cannot afford legal representation. Because I receive medicaid for my children, I am forced to go through the attorney general’s office. I only pay $50 a month for the insurance.. I am grateful for the state’s help, but if one is being forced to abide by certain rules to receive state help with insurance, I expect them to uphold their end of the rules by actually sending prompt payments to the custodial parents! What can I do? How can I prove that the state withholds support? Have you ever heard of this? Thanks!

  4. What’s up, after reading this remarkable post i am too happy to share my experience here with colleagues.

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  6. shad carroll says:

    Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:48 am

    ——————————————————————————–

    I always pay my support and I believe you should support your child support. However it really hurts you as far as trying to get a loan. Like he says, debt to ratio. The goverment really screws over the guys or anyone paying child support in fact. I pay 1000 dollars in child support and I have the same problem getting any kind of loan do to my debt to ratio. How is it far that one child gets 350 a month while another child gets 1000 a month? My ex cheated on me, then divoced me and Im the one paying for it. It does not take 1000 a month to help raise a child. The system is broken and needs fixing in a bad way. On top of that 1000 a month, I also pay 250 for my childs medical insurance. So I pay 1250 a month!!

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