A deadbeat dad is a parent of either gender who fails to pay child support. In Texas, the child support enforcement program is governed by the state's Office of the Attorney General. You can report an absent parent online, by phone, or by mail. For a parent to be held accountable through the justice system for failure to pay, the child support must be mandated through a court order.
Child Support Interactive
Once you complete an application for child support and a judge signs a court order for the noncustodial parent to pay, you will receive a customer identification number, or CIN This is not your case number. Instead, this is the number you use to log on to the child support interactive system to monitor your case.
If the noncustodial parent is not living up to his obligation, you can file a report online using the child support interactive system. There will be a link for you to click to file a complaint. The OAG will investigate and use its best efforts to track down the absent parent. All court ordered child support payments are processed through the OAG, making it easy to verify that the noncustodial parent isn't paying.
If you don't have access to the Internet, call the OAG at 1-800-252-8014, or visit a local office. If you can't get to a local office, the office will mail you the paperwork you need to complete. When calling, be prepared to provide your CIN number.
For the OAG to track down the absent parent, you need to provide some pertinent data. The more information you know about the absent parent, the better chance the OAG will find him. Key information includes that last known address of the absent parent and his employer. If you don't know his current employer, provide the names of the past employers that you know. The OAG can also use the following information in locating the absent parent:
- Addresses of relatives and friends
- Social Security number
- Names of banks, creditors and organizations the absent parent has relationships with
- Places where the absent parent spends his free time
Child Support Order From Another State
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, or UIFSA, requires all states to work together to enforce child support orders. If you live in Texas but need to report an absent parent in another state, or if your court order originated in another state, contact the OAG and request assistance. In some cases, the OAG may request you contact the child support enforcement agency in the state that ordered the child support. You can visit the Health and Human Services website to find the phone number to the relevant agency.
The OAG of Texas does not not serve as a custodial parent's attorney. Instead, the OAG is the representative body for the child. The office enforces all policies in the best interest of the child. As such, the OAG can sue the absent parent and request a judge to hold the absent parent in contempt of court for not paying child support. These services are free, along with other services of the OAG. You can consult an attorney about child support matters, but check with the OAG first to see if hiring a private attorney is necessary.