Application: Custodial Parent Wanting to Establish Paternity

Completing the Custodial Parent Application Form

The Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division (IV-D program) helps people get child support, medical support, and dental support for dependent children. We want to help you, so it is very important that you understand the services offered.

Click here for a checklist of information you can gather to make this process go faster for you.

Important Safety Information

We share your address and other identifying information with other state and federal agencies. We share this information only for child support reasons. The information may become available to the noncustodial parent. Contact us immediately

  • if your case information should not be given out because of family violence and/or
  • if going through the child support process poses a threat to you or your child(ren).

If you have concerns about you or your child(ren)'s safety, there are some protections available in the child support process. Please visit our Child Support and Family Violence web page.

Information You Need to Know

We can attempt to...

  • locate a noncustodial parent
  • establish paternity of a child born out of wedlock
  • establish and enforce child support orders
  • establish and enforce medical support orders
  • establish and enforce dental support orders
  • enroll children in health insurance plans
  • review and modify child support orders
  • collect child support through income withholding, income tax refund intercept, and contempt of court hearings

We cannot...

  • guarantee that our attempts to establish or enforce child, medical support, or dental support will be successful
  • always take action in every case
  • handle matters that are not permitted by child support program laws, such as divorce, visitation, and custody disputes
  • give your case priority over the many other cases we handle; priority is based on the information you provide

Working your case

  • We require your cooperation.
  • After you complete and return the application to us, do not accept any child support payments directly from the noncustodial parent. If you receive money directly from the local registry or the noncustodial parent, notify our office immediately.
  • You must notify us in writing or by using this web site if you wish to stop our services.
  • We cannot close you case if there are amounts owed to the state or if there are pending legal actions. Once the money owed to the state is paid or the legal action is resolved, we can close your case.
  • To receive services from the Office of the Attorney General, State of Texas, Child Support Division, the applicant or one of the involved parties must reside in Texas or there must be an existing Texas order.
  • Custodial parents who receive full-service monitoring and enforcement services, and whose cases are not current or former TANF, or foster care, will pay a fee that is automatically deducted from the child support payments. For more information on this fee, please visit the Child Support Fees web page.

Establishment Cases

If you need to prove who the father of your child(ren) is, please carefully complete all information in the application. If you have more than one child, you need to provide information about each child who needs to have paternity established. Our office must have a separate set of paternity information for each child of the alleged father(s).

If you do not need to prove who the father of your child(ren) is, but you need a court order for child support, our office can work to establish one when the parents are married but living apart, or the person with custody of the child is not the mother or father of the child.

Privacy Act Notice

Disclosure of your social security number and the social security numbers of your children is required by federal law [42 USC 666]. Failure to disclose this information may result in the denial of child support services. The Child Support Division will use these social security numbers for the purpose of establishing and enforcing support for you and your family. We need social security numbers (SSNs) for case processing. SSNs may be released for various purposes (as permitted under the Code of Federal Regulations Part 45 and the Texas Family Code), including the following:

  • searching other computer systems for information on the noncustodial parent
  • submitting the case for federal and state income tax refund offset
  • enrolling children in health insurance plans

Distribution of Child Support Payments

All child support payments are made through the Texas State Disbursement Unit (SDU). The law requires this. The SDU promptly records and forwards your child support payment to you. A payment may be late if we do not have your current address. Please keep us informed if you change your address.

If you ever received public assistance, your case record may show there is money owed to the state. We may keep a portion of any payment of past-due support to repay the state.

If you and/or your child(ren) begin receiving Medicaid, you give your rights to medical support payments to the state. This means that we send any regular medical support payments that we collect to the Medicaid agency.

If the noncustodial parent lives in another state, that other state may charge you fees for its services. Those fees may be deducted from any child support money collected.

IRS Income Tax Refund Intercept Information

We send cases with past-due child support to the Internal Revenue Service for income tax refund intercept. To use this process, the following conditions must exist:

  • We must have the noncustodial parent's correct social security number.
  • The noncustodial parent must be at least $500 behind in child support payments if public assistance was not provided or $150 if public assistance was provided.

If money is owed to the state from any public assistance your child(ren) received, we keep the intercept and first repay the state. After the state debt is paid, any money left is sent to you. We can collect money only if the noncustodial parent is getting an income tax refund. Federal law permits states to hold certain IRS intercepts for 180 days. The Child Support Division holds such payments.

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