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Texas State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
73 local IV-D offices, not including regional, state office and special state-wide functional offices.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
Yes
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
Texas Family Code section 231.109.
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A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
Yes
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
An attorney employed to provide Title IV-D services represents the interest of the state and not the interest of any other party. The provision of services by an attorney under this chapter does not create an attorney-client relationship between the attorney and any other party.

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
Texas Family Code Chapter 159.
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B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
A minimum of one original set of documents is needed.

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
In addition to the federally declared reciprocating countries, Texas has formal reciprocity with the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. Texas also has an agreement with Germany entered into with Germany before UIFSA became effective. (Germany has been a member of the Hague Convention since 2014.)
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
N/A
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
No
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
N/A
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries? **
Yes
C4. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706 (b) (1).) **
Although either the complete text of the support order or an abstract or extract of the support order is permitted, the complete text is preferred to avoid potential problems with the court and to provide the text of the support provisions in context. Further, this practice minimizes delays if a support order abstract was initially provided for registration, and the court subsequently requires the complete text of the support order.

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
18 years of age.
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
Texas Family Code section 101.003.
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D3. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
18 years of age. Termination of the duty of support is primarily addressed in Texas Family Code Sections 154.006 and 154.127.
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
No
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
Termination of the duty of support is primarily addressed in Texas Family Code Sections 154.006 and 154.127. The support order terms generally graduate or step down the support amount when there is more than one child as the duty of support ends for each child. The terms require that the support amount or graduated support amount is payable until the first month following the date of the earliest occurrence of one of the events specified below for each child: - the child reaches the age of eighteen years or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later, subject to the provisions for support beyond the age of eighteen years set out below; - the child marries; - the child dies; - the child enlists in the armed forces of the United States and begins active service as defined by Sections 101 of title 10 of the United States Code; or - the child's disabilities are otherwise removed for general purposes. If a child is eighteen years of age and has not graduated from high school, the obligation to pay child support for that child continues for as long as the child is enrolled under Chapter 25 of the Texas Education Code in an accredited secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma or under Section 130.008 of the Education Code in courses for joint high school and junior college credit and is complying with the minimum attendance requirements of Subchapter C of Chapter 25 of the Education Code, or on a full-time basis in a private secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma and is complying with the minimum attendance requirements imposed by that school.
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
A court may extend support as noted above, as well as in the case of mental or physical disability as specified in Texas Family Code Chapter 154, Subchapter F. Texas Family Code chapter 154, subchapter F.
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
Yes
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
The support order terms generally graduate or step down the support amount when there is more than one child as the duty for support ends for each child. For more information see the response to D5 and/or D5.1 above. Occasionally orders do not automatically reduce the current support as children emancipate.
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
Texas does accept applications from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated. However, if the case requires the establishment of paternity, after the date a child having no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father becomes an adult, a proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of the adult child may not be brought by the Title IV-D agency.
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?
N/A

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for collection of past-due support?
There is a jurisdictional limitation after termination of the obligation. The jurisdictional limitation is ten years for judgments and two years for contempt. Texas Family Code Section 157.005.
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E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
If a child has no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father, there is no time limitation. Texas Family Code Section 160.606. It should be noted, however, that only the child, and not the IV-D agency, has standing to pursue a paternity action once the child reaches the age of 18. Texas Family Code Section 160.602. If a child has a presumed father, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the child's birth. Texas Family Code Section 160.607. This latter four-year rule may be rebutted if the presumed father did not live with the mother, did not have sexual relations with the mother during the probable period of conception, and never held the child out as his own. Texas Family Code Chapter 160, Subchapter G.
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E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
Yes
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
Judgments generally must be renewed every 10 years. Judgments are renewed by proof of attempted execution. However, dormancy rules do not apply to a judgment for child support under the Texas Family Code. Texas Civil Practice and Remedy Code Section 34.001.
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F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Texas standard guideline calculation uses a fixed percentage of the non-custodial parent's net resources with adjustment for multiple family obligations. It's within the court's discretion to vary from guidelines.
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F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
Yes
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest accrues on the delinquent child support at the rate of 6% simple interest per year from the date support is delinquent until the date the support is paid or the arrearages are confirmed and reduced to money judgment. Texas Family Code Chapter 157, Subchapter F. A child support judgment is subject to the interest rate in effect at the time the judgment was rendered. Texas Family Code section 157.265.
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F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
Yes
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest accrues on a money judgment for retroactive child support at the annual rate of 6% simple interest from the date the order is rendered until the judgment is paid. A child support judgment is subject to the interest rate in effect at the time the judgment was rendered.
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
Yes
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest accrues on child support arrearages that have been confirmed and reduced to money judgment at the rate of 6% simple interest per year from the date the order is rendered until the date the judgment is paid. A child support judgment is subject to the interest rate in effect at the time the judgment was rendered.
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F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
Yes
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
Unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by a custodial parent may be enforced pursuant to the terms of the order. Additional criteria may apply.
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
Yes
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
The annual $25 service fee is imposed pursuant to federal law. This fee is not imposed on responding interstate cases.
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
Attorney's fees should be assessed in contempt cases where the obligor's arrears equal or exceed $20,000. The court may waive the fee if the obligor is involuntarily unemployed or lacks financial resources. Attorney's fees are optional in enforcement actions with arrears less than $20,000. Additionally other court costs, including genetic testing fees, may be assessed against the obligor.
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
Yes
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
Genetic testing and court costs incurred during a legal action within the state of Texas may be recovered from the obligor. These fees are not recovered from the initiating state agency.
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
Jurisdiction is established in the initial order, and need not be asserted again in subsequent enforcement actions. The long-arm statutes for establishing an obligation may be found in Texas Family Code Sections 102.011 and 159.201.
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F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
Texas law permits the establishment of spousal maintenance or spousal support orders in very limited situations. The Texas IV-D agency does not establish or modify spousal maintenance orders. The IV-D agency may seek a judgment for past due spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance may be collected by IV-D agency only in conjunction with child support. Texas courts can only modify Texas spousal maintenance orders.
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
No. Texas does not require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner when establishing or modifying the child support obligation.
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
N/A
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
Custodial parents who receive full service monitoring and enforcement services and have never received public assistance will pay a $25.00 annual service fee for each year they receive more than $500 in child support collections. The fee will be deducted from the child support payment. This fee is not assessed on responding interstate cases.
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $500?
Yes
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
Yes, if the applicant is the custodial parent as described in F11. Texas collects the fee from the custodial parent, not the non-custodial parent, regardless of who applied for IV-D services.
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
No
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
No
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
October 1, 2009
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
Yes, Texas currently passes through up to the first $75 of the collections during a month to TANF families.
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
No
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
N/A
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
No
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
N/A
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
N/A
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
PRWORA
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
A legal action must be pursued to modify the terms of the order, including but not limited to the right to receive and give receipt for the child support and/or medical support of the child(ren). Texas Family Code Chapter 156, Subchapter E.
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F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
A legal action must be pursued to modify the terms of the order, including but not limited to the right to receive and give receipt for the child support and/or medical support of the child(ren). Texas Family Code Chapter 156, Subchapter E.
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F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
A legal action must be pursued to modify the terms of the order, including but not limited to the right to receive and give receipt for the child support and/or medical support of the child(ren). Texas Family Code Chapter 156, Subchapter E.
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F17.3. How does your state collect the $25.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
Custodial parents who receive full service monitoring and enforcement services and have never received public assistance will pay a $25.00 annual service fee for each year they receive more than $500 in child support collections. The fee will be deducted from the child support payment.
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases? **
Yes
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees). **
Texas may recover costs from non-custodial parents regardless of the type of case (foreign reciprocating, treaty, intrastate, or interstate). The following are common costs: court costs, genetic test costs, and attorney's fees in enforcement contempt cases when ordered by the court.
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
Texas sends manual requests via CSENet to obtain full pay records including the arrears and interest balance.
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)
Upon request from another state, Texas will manually provide a pay record including the arrears and interest balance.

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
The portion of an obligor's earnings which is not considered disposable earnings is not subject to withholding. This portion includes earnings of the obligor, other than child support, which the employer is required by law to withhold, union dues, nondiscretionary retirement contributions, and medical, hospitalization, and disability insurance coverage for the obligor and the obligor's children. Texas Family Code Section 101.010 and Texas Family Code Chapter 158.
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G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
Yes
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
Texas Family Code 158.009 specifies that the maximum amount to be withheld from an obligor's earnings is the amount specified in the IWO, up to a maximum amount of 50% of the obligor's disposable earnings. There are no specified changes to this maximum amount under the state law for obligors supporting more than one family or for obligors with arrears greater than 12 weeks.
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
An employer may deduct an administrative fee of not more than $10.00 each month from the non-custodial parent's disposable earnings in addition to the amount to be withheld as child support. Texas Family Code Section 158.204
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G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
Not later than the first pay period following the date on which the order or writ was delivered to the employer.
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Each pay date.
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
A pleading may be filed in court to seek compliance and/or a penalty (including contempt, if appropriate) for employer non-compliance. Prior to seeking judicial action, employer follow-up and outreach is conducted seeking voluntary compliance by the employer.
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
The employer is liable to the obligee for the amount not paid in compliance with the order or writ of withholding. In addition to the civil remedies provided by this subchapter, other applicable penalties may apply for knowing violations. Texas Family Code Sections 158.203, 158.206 and 158.210.
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G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
No
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
A request to withhold unemployment insurance benefits for child support must be initiated through the Texas agency via an automated interface. Another state agency may initiate an interstate request to Texas to request garnishment of unemployment insurance benefits.
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G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
Transmittal #1, payment history and certified copy of the support order.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
Texas Family Code Section 158.213: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.158.htm#158.213
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
The obligor may seek to stay issuance of a judicial writ of withholding by filing a verified motion to stay with the clerk of court not later than the 10th day after the date the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding was received. The grounds for filing a motion to stay issuance are limited to a dispute concerning the identity of the obligor or the existence or the amount of the arrearages. The obligor may dispute an administrative writ of withholding through requesting a review by the Title IV-D agency to resolve any issue in dispute regarding the identity of the obligor or the existence or amount of arrearages. After the review the Title IV-D agency may issue a new administrative writ of withholding to the employer, including a writ modifying the amount to be withheld or terminating withholding. If the review fails to resolve any issue in dispute, the obligor may file a motion with the court to withdraw the administrative writ and request a hearing with the court not later than the 30th day after receiving notice of the agency's determination. Income withholding may not be interrupted pending a hearing by the court.
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
An employer receiving two or more orders or writs for one obligor shall comply with each order or writ to the extent possible. If the total amount due under the orders or writs exceeds the maximum amount allowed to be withheld, the employer shall pay an equal amount towards the current support in each order or writ until the employer has complied fully with each current support obligation and, thereafter, equal amounts on the arrearages until the employer has complied with each order or writ, or until the maximum total amount of allowed withholding is reached, whichever occurs first. An employer who receives more than one order or writ of withholding that combines withholding for child support and spousal maintenance withholds income and pays the amount withheld in accordance with Texas Family Code Section 8.207. Texas Family Code Sections 8.101, 8.207, 158.009, and 158.208.
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
Yes
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
N/A
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G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
Yes.
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
The employer is required to provide notice of an employee termination no later than the seventh day after the date employment is terminated.
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G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
No statutory requirement.
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
No.
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
No. Only the obligor is provided alternative web-based payment mechanisms.
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G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
Yes. Direct income withholding may be sent to entities meeting the statutory definition of an "employer." Texas Family Code Section 101.012.
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G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
Cash medical support is considered child support. State withholding limits apply to disposable income, and disposable income is determined after payments for health insurance premiums have been withheld. Texas Family Code Sections 101.010, 158.009, and 158.207.
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G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
Texas follows the federal regulations and sends current support and payments on arrears to the state disbursement unit of the state providing current services. Texas advises any other state claiming arrears to contact the initiating state. If Texas is providing current, active services to the CP, all payments for current support are sent to the CP. All arrears will be sent to the state that most recently provided services for distribution according to law.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?
Distribution of child support receipts is governed by each of the following: - federal law 42 USC Section 657 - regulations 45 CFR Sections 302.32, 302.51, 302.52 - state law Texas Family Code Sections157.268 and 159.319, and - agency policy
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G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
Yes

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
Yes
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
A final order in an intrastate suit affecting the parent-child relationship, including those orders establishing paternity, must address conservatorship (custody), and possession and access (visitation). An order obtained under the Uniform Interstate Family Support act will only address the duty to pay support (establishing paternity if required), and the child support amounts, including medical.
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
A man is rebuttably identified as the father of a child if the genetic testing complies with Texas Family Code Chapter 160, Subchapter F and the results disclose that the man has at least a 99% probability of paternity, using a prior probability of 0.5, as calculated by using the combined paternity index obtained in the testing, and a combined paternity index of 100 to 1. Texas Family Code section 160.505
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H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
No optional comments submitted.
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H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
09/01/1999
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
Yes
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
No optional comments submitted.
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H5. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity?
Yes
H5.1. If yes, how is the presumption rebutted?
The presumption of paternity established under Texas Family Code Section 160.204 may only be rebutted by an adjudication of paternity under Texas Family Code Chapter 160, Subchapter G, or the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Texas Family Code Section 160.305.
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H6. If the father's name is on the birth certificate and paternity has not been established by any other means, does this mean conclusive determination of paternity?
No
H6.1. If no, briefly explain.
Paternity is presumed or otherwise established by means of a presumption of paternity as stated in Texas Family Code Section 160.204, the execution and filing of a valid acknowledgment of paternity, or an adjudication of paternity. A man is presumed to be the father only if he was voluntarily named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate and he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law. After 9/1/99, the name of the father should appear on a birth certificate only if there has been an acknowledgment of paternity or if the parties were married. However, a birth certificate still does not constitute a legal finding of paternity, and is not a substitute for an acknowledgment of paternity or evidence of marriage.
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H7. What is the effective date of the state law that makes a father's name on the birth certificate a conclusive determination of paternity?
N/A
H8. Does your state have any other paternity-related presumptions?
Yes
H8.1. If yes, briefly explain.
Under Texas Family Code Section 160.204, in addition to the marital presumptions, a man is also presumed to be the father of a child if during the first two years of the child's life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.
H9. Does your state have a putative fathers' registry?
Yes
H9.1. If yes, what is the name of that entity?
In Texas the registry of paternity is established in the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. Texas Family Code Chapter 160, Subchapter E.
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H10. Are there any fees for requesting searches, paternity documents and data from your state's bureau of vital statistics?
Yes
H10.1. If yes, please describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived.
Some fees are assessed by the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. These vary by the document or service provided. For example, a reasonable fee is charged to obtain a copy of a birth certificate, to amend a birth certificate, to search the registry of paternity and to furnish a certificate of a search of the paternity registry. However, no fee is charged to file an acknowledgment of paternity, a denial of paternity, a rescission of an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, or a registration or rescission of a registration with the registry of paternity. Texas Family Code Sections 160.306 and 160.416.
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H11. Is common-law marriage recognized in your state?
Yes
H11.1. If yes, briefly describe the standard that defines common-law marriage.
In Texas, common-law marriage, codified as marriage without formalities or informal marriage, may be proved by evidence that a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided in the Texas Family Code, Chapter 2, Subchapter E, or evidence that the parties agreed to be married, that the parties have cohabitated in Texas after the agreement to be married, and there represented to others that they were married. An action to establish an informal marriage must be commenced within two years of the date of separation, otherwise it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married. A person may not enter into an informal marriage if that person is already married. A party to an informal marriage may not be under the age of 18. Texas Family Code, Chapter 2, Subchapter E, and Texas Family Code Section 2.401.
H11.2. When did your current common-law standard go into effect?
09/01/2005
H11.3. If there was a common-law standard in effect prior to your current standard, what was that standard and when did it go into effect?
A Texas statute recognizing informal marriage was enacted by the 61st Legislative Session and became effective January 1, 1970. Prior to that time, Texas case law recognized the institution of informal marriage.
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H12. When the custodial party and/or other witnesses are not able to appear in person for paternity hearings, what methods of testimony are acceptable; for example, written, videotape, and teleconferencing?
Texas has adopted UIFSA which permits a party or witness residing outside the state to be deposed or to testify under penalty of perjury by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means at a designated tribunal or other location. The means permitted depends upon the availability of the means at the court facility. Such alternative appearances may be available for an in-state party or witness, depending upon the circumstances, availability and the facility.
H13. Give the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute and list any special provisions.
Texas Family Code Sections 102.011 and 159.201.
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H14. Does your state recover genetic testing costs for another state?
Yes
H14.1. If yes, please explain.
If genetic testing is ordered in a Texas responding intergovernmental establishment case, a judgment for these costs may be requested against the NCP as permitted by 45 CFR 303.7(d)(6)(i). These costs are not sought from the initiating state.
H15. List any documents required to get the father's name on the birth certificate. For example, is an acknowledgment of paternity needed?
The Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 192 generally governs birth records in Texas. The Texas Vital Statistics Unit provides information to the public regarding paternity and parentage, including amending parentage birth records in Texas.
H16. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should one set of documents be sent to your state (with a paternity affidavit for each child) or should a separate packet be sent for each child?
If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, one set of intergovernmental documents is needed with a separate affidavit in support of establishing paternity for each child needing parentage established in the responding state.

I. Support Order Establishment

I1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Texas uses both judicial and quasi-administrative processes to establish obligations. Intergovernmental responding cases are most frequently handled judicially.
I1.1. If your state can establish under both, under what circumstances would the administrative process be used?
In most intergovernmental responding establishment cases, a judicial process is used to establish the obligation. In instances when cooperation and participation of the out-of-state party is known, the quasi-administrative process may be utilized. The quasi-administrative process has been determined to be inappropriate for certain kinds of cases and under certain circumstances, such as cases where a party is a minor and cannot waive service, where the child is in foster care, where the child has both an alleged and presumed father, where a needed remedy is not available administratively, where family violence has been alleged, or where a party is not cooperative or cannot effectively participate.
I1.2. Under what circumstances would a judicial process would be used?
Intergovernmental responding establishment cases are generally established judicially. Further the quasi-administrative process has been determined to be inappropriate for certain kinds of cases and under certain circumstances, such as cases where a party is a minor and cannot waive service, where the child is in foster care, where the child has both an alleged and presumed father, where a needed remedy is not available administratively, where family violence has been alleged, or where a party is not cooperative or cannot effectively participate.
I1.3. If your state uses an administrative process, provide the statutory citations for your state's administrative procedures.
Texas Family Code chapter 233.
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I2. In setting support under your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial (NCP's) (for example, new spouses or children)?
None.
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I3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
Texas Family Code Section 154.123 includes relevant factors that may demonstrate to the court that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.
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I4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods?
Yes
I4.1. If yes, for what prior periods (for example, birth of the child, date of separation, prenatal expenses, 5 years retroactive)?
The court may order a parent to pay retroactive child support if the parent has not previously been ordered to pay support for the child and was not a party to a suit in which support was ordered. Retroactive support may also be ordered if the prior child support order terminated as a result of marriage or remarriage and the parents subsequently separate. It is presumed that a court order limiting the amount of retroactive child support to an amount that does not exceed the total amount of support that would have been due for the four years preceding the date the petition seeking support was filed is reasonable and in the best interest of the child. Texas Family Code Sections 154.009 and 154.131.
I4.2. What information or documentation does your State require to proceed?
No additional documentation is required.
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I4.3. Will your state allow a petition for support when the only issue is retroactive support?
Yes
I4.4. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
Retroactive support, including presumed limits on periods of retroactive support, was generally addressed in the responses to I4.1 above. Under Texas Family Code Section 154.131 in ordering retroactive child support, the court shall consider the net resources of the obligor during the relevant time period and whether the mother of the child had made any previous attempts to notify the obligor of his paternity or probable paternity, the obligor had knowledge of his paternity or probable paternity, the order of retroactive child support will impose an undue financial hardship on the obligor or the obligor's family, and the obligor has provided actual support or other necessaries before the filing of the action.
I5. What actions can your state perform using the administrative process? For example, does your state use an administrative process for paternity, establishment, modification, and the enforcement of child support?
Actions for genetic testing, establishing parentage, establishing support, modifying support and enforcement of prior orders by confirmation of arrears in a judgment may be addressed using the quasi-administrative process referred to as the Child Support Review Process. Texas Family Code Chapter 233.
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I6. What is your state's statutory authority for the administrative process?
Texas Family Code chapter 233.
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I7. Is there a local state law that allows an interstate administrative subpoena?
Texas Family Code section 231.303.
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I8. Does your state require that a custodial party receiving public assistance, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child?
No.
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I9. Does your state require that a custodial party who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child when public assistance is not being expended?
No.
I10. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
No, but the enforcement of the court order would require that support be paid to the court ordered obligee unless the right to receive support was modified to change that right.
I11. When your state has issued an order that reserves support and now child support should now be ordered, should the other state request an establishment or a modification?
Generally, the other state should request establishment, unless the previous order specifically set current child support at $0. In that case, the other state should request modification.
I12. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before a support order is modified or established?
Yes, if the proceeding to modify and/or establish the new support amount is being sought under UIFSA, the court with continuing jurisdiction must address conservatorship under the UCCJEA. If Texas has continuing jurisdiction over both conservatorship and support, both actions may be raised simultaneously.
I13. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before support can be redirected to the new payee?
When the child changes residences from the Obligee to the Obligor, the original Obligor support cannot be merely redirected. If the proceeding to modify and/or establish the new support amount is being sought under UIFSA, the court with continuing jurisdiction must address conservatorship under the UCCJEA. If Texas has continuing jurisdiction over both conservatorship and support, both actions may be raised simultaneously.
I14. What methods of personal service does your state use? **
Generally, the Texas IV-D agency attempts to obtain a waiver of service prior to issuing service of process on a custodial parent. Texas seeks service of process on noncustodial parents and other necessary parties prior to the initial hearing. Texas will ordinarily initially attempt service of legal documents by using a sheriff or constable. However, regional management may authorize its field offices to forego service attempts by the sheriff or constable, and to immediately contact the private process server in certain situations.
I15. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? **
No
I15.1 If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically. **
N/A
I16. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? **
The Texas guideline statute does not include "add-ons" to the child support guideline amount. Texas Family Code Section 154.123 includes relevant factors that may demonstrate to the court that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.
I17. Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. **
Texas Family Code Section 154.123
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I18. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents in order to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? **
Yes
I18.1 If yes, indicate the appropriate responses. **
The Texas Child Support Review Process (CSRP) is a quasi-administrative process that provides the parties with an opportunity to reach an agreement on establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support and medical support obligations.

J. Support Enforcement

J1. Indicate whether your state has the following enforcement remedies available. Also indicate what procedures are available (i.e., judicial, administrative, or both).
J1.1. Are your state income tax refund procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
State income tax refund procedures are administrative. Depending upon the remedy, enforcement remedies may be available by either judicial, administrative, or both judicial and administrative processes. For example, contempt is only available through a judicial process, however judgments may be confirmed by either judicial or administrative processes.
J2. Is the lien process in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both.
J2.1. What are the trigger criteria for filing a lien?
A claimant may enforce child support by a lien as provided in Texas Family Code Chapter 157, Subchapter G. The statute does not require a minimum arrearage balance.
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J2.2. Where are your state liens filed?
In the real property records of the county where real property is located, otherwise with the asset holder.
J2.3. Does your state charge a fee for filing a lien?
No
J2.4. If yes, please indicate the amount.
N/A
J.3. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale?
Yes
J3.1. Are the property seizure and sale procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Judicial
J4. Are the MSFIDM freeze and seize procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both, but usually administrative.
J4.1. When must an NCP receive notice that a MSFIDM freeze and seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the state to collect delinquent child support?
There is no requirement that a non-custodial parent (NCP) receive notice that a Freeze and Seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the State to collect delinquent child support prior to the action being commenced. However, IV-D orders have verbiage alerting the obligor that various other means of collection can be used.
J4.2. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
No. Financial institution assets are generally secured through the lien process. Texas Family Code Section 157.3145.
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J4.3. Does your state require a new notice to be sent when intent to freeze and seize is sent?
Yes
J4.3.1 If yes, who notifies the NCP, the state or the financial institution?
A notice, but not necessarily a new notice, is sent for a Freeze and Seize. A Notice of Lien only encumbers the account, whereas a Notice of Levy warns that the assets are about to be seized. The statute only specifies the claimant is responsible for giving the NCP both a notice of lien and a notice of levy.
J5. What are the time frames if a new notice of intent to freeze and seize must be sent?
A notice of lien/levy sent to the financial institution freezes the account and directs the financial institution to make payment 15-21 days later. A copy is sent to the obligor at the same time, giving the obligor 10 days to contest.
J5.1. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for freeze and seize action in your state?
There must be past due support.
J5.2. What is the minimum delinquent dollar amount that makes an obligor eligible for asset seizure?
There is no statutory minimum. The IV-D agency uses an arrears threshold. The threshold is subject to a periodic review.
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J5.3. Is there a specified amount of time of delinquency required prior to proceeding with freeze and seize?
No.
J5.3.1. If yes, please provide the time frame.
N/A
J5.4. Are only a certain percentage of the obligor's financial assets eligible for freeze and seize?
No
J5.4.1. If yes, provide the percentage.
N/A
J5.4.2. Is the percentage different for joint accounts?
No
J5.4.3. If yes, describe.
N/A
J5.5. Does your state require a minimum amount of money in a financial account for the funds to be eligible for freeze and seize action? If so, provide the amount.
No. Although state law does not specify a statutory minimum financial account balance for the funds to be eligible for a freeze and seize action, state system criteria have been established to submit a case for financial institution data match.
J5.6. Who is responsible for applying the minimum amount, your state or the financial institution?
N/A
J5.7. How long does the obligor or other account holders have to contact your state child support enforcement agency or court to challenge the Freeze and Seize action?
There is no statutory time period for an obligor to contest a freeze (lien). An obligor has 10 days to contest a seize (levy). Texas Family Code section 157.328.
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J5.8. If state law or policy allows for a second contest to a freeze and seize action, how long does the obligor or joint account holder have to contact your child support agency or court to challenge the freeze and seize action?
If the agency review does not resolve the matter, a second contest may be filed in court not later than the fifth day after the agency notice of contest resolution. Texas Family Code section 157.328.
J5.9. On what basis can an obligor and/or other account holder challenge a Freeze and Seize action?
A freeze and seize action may be challenged on the basis that no account holder owes support, the amount of arrears is incorrect, or the account is entirely funds not subject to a lien which can include the account being funds of a co-owner who owes no support. There is no specific statute setting out the basis for a contest.
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J5.10. Is your state's complaint review process judicial, administrative, or both?
A freeze and seize initiated by the Texas IV-D agency provides for an administrative complaint process. All freeze and seize actions are subject to a judicial complaint process.
J5.11. What are your state's penalties for incorrect seizures?
None.
J5.12. Is the second challenge administrative, judicial, or both?
All challenges are ultimately able to be resolved judicially.
J5.13. What is your state's appeal time frame, unique appeal requirements and recourse for non-debtor accounts?
30 days. The IV-D agency must release the lien if there is an absence of arrears or if the lien was filed based on mistaken identity. Recourse for current spouse only.
J5.14. Is the freeze and seize operation in your state centralized or automated?
The Texas IV-D agency freeze and seize process is centralized and partially automated.
J5.15. Are there additional freeze and seize requirements or limitations not otherwise noted in this profile?
If an account contains property owned by the community estate, the law gives the court discretion as to the amount of community property that may be garnished to satisfy child support arrears.
J5.16. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc)?
Yes
J5.16.1 If yes, provide the state authority and the procedures financial institutions should follow to liquidate non-liquid assets.
Judicial foreclosure of liens is authorized under Texas Family Code section 157.323.
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J5.17. Does your state law or policies instruct the financial institution or state to hold the frozen assets during the challenge or appeal time frame or freeze period?
Yes. Texas Family Code section 157.327.
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J5.18. How long does the financial institution have to send the obligor's assets to your child support enforcement agency?
The financial institution has to send the non-custodial parent's assets to the child support enforcement agency no earlier than the 15th day, nor later than the 21st day after the date of the delivery of the notice. Texas Family Code Section 157.327.
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J6. Does your state withhold state funds or benefits?
Yes
J6.1. If yes, is the method of withholding state benefits judicial, administrative or both?
Administrative.
J7. Describe any other administrative enforcement procedures your state may have.
Examples of other administrative enforcement procedures include license suspension, lottery intercept, and unclaimed property intercept.
J8. Describe any other judicial enforcement procedures your state may have.
Child support enforcement is generally addressed in Texas Family Code Chapter 157.
J9. If your State has established specific procedures for registering administrative liens, what are the procedures that another State must follow?
Interstate liens are enforced in the same manner as intrastate liens and may be initiated directly by other Title IV-D agencies. Texas Family Code Chapter 157, Subchapter G.
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J10. Which of your state's enforcement remedies are available without judicial actions?
Examples of other state enforcement remedies available without judicial actions include income withholding, credit bureau reporting, state debt setoff, unemployment benefits intercept, and lottery intercept.
J11. Describe your state's procedures for registering and enforcing another state's order.
Registration is sought under UIFSA. Judicial enforcement actions can be filed simultaneously with the registration request.
J12. Describe additional judicial procedures required after registration, if any, to enforce a support order.
There are no required additional judicial procedures after registration. Judicial enforcement actions may be filed simultaneously with the registration request.
J13. Has your state adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA)?
Yes
J13.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 35.
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J14. What are your state's criteria for reporting an obligor's child support information to credit bureaus?
Cases reported to the consumer reporting agencies must meet the following criteria: The case must be obligated. The case is not a UIFSA initiating case. The case has not been deferred due to the NCP filing for bankruptcy. A valid social security number exists for the noncustodial parent. A valid name exists for the noncustodial parent. A complete address exists for the noncustodial parent. The current support payment start date must be more than 45 days old, or if there is no current support payment start date, the case start date must be more than 45 days old. A Notice of Intent to Report was previously sent to the noncustodial parent.
J15. To which credit bureaus does your state report an obligor's child support information?
Reports are made to Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.
J16. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
The method of credit bureau reporting is administrative.
J17. These questions describe state procedures for Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI). Refer to OCSE-AT-08-06 for additional information about AEI.
J18. What data matches with financial institutions and other entities (and the seizure of such assets) are available through AEI in your state? Examples may include liens and levies, MSFIDM, FIDM, state benefits (lump sum), state lottery, state income tax, etc.
J19. What documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
J20. What mandatory data elements does your state need to process AEI requests?

For Additional Information - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2008/at-08-06.htm
J21. Which additional data elements would aid your state in processing AEI requests?
J22. How many copies/sets of documents does your state require with an AEI request?
J23. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for any AEI matches available in the state, aside from liens/levies and MSFIDM?
J24. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept freeze and seize actions directly from other states?
Yes
J24.1. If no, then describe the process for a freeze and seize action from another child support agency (for example, Transmittal #1 or Transmittal #3), and list the additional documentation required.
N/A
J25. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
For an existing initiating or responding intergovernmental case, a IV-D agency may obtain a certified copy of a court order through a CSENet request. For a non-intergovernmental case, a limited service intergovernmental request for a certified copy of a court order may be sent to the Texas Interstate Central Registry using the Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3 - Request for Assistance/Discovery, seeking to obtain the requested document and providing the needed case/cause details in the additional information section.
J26. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified payment record?
For an existing initiating or responding intergovernmental case, a IV-D agency may obtain a certified payment record through a CSENet request. For a non-intergovernmental case, a limited service intergovernmental request for a certified copy of a court order may be sent to the Texas Interstate Central Registry using the Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3 - Request for Assistance/Discovery, seeking to obtain the requested document and providing the needed case/cause details in the additional information section.
J27. Is there a cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order or payment record?
Requests for a certified copy of a Texas court order or Texas payment record made through the Texas IV-D Interstate Central Registry are provided at no cost to the requesting non-Texas IV-D agency.
J28. What are your state's policies and practices for driver's license revocation for nonpayment of support and reinstatement, especially for low income parents or a hardship exemption?
State law provides for judicial and administrative license suspension for nonpayment of support in Texas Family Code Chapter 232, Suspension of License. Under this chapter a license may be suspended, and renewal may be denied. The court may stay a license suspension conditioned on the NCP's compliance with a court ordered repayment schedule. If a license has been suspended and the suspension has been stayed, the stay may be subsequently revoked if the NCP has not complied with the conditions stated within the order.
J29. What triggers a driver's license revocation?
A judicial or administrative action to suspend the NCP's driver's license under Texas Family Code Chapter 232 is appropriate when the NCP owes overdue child support in an amount equal to or greater than the total support due for three months under a support order; has been provided and opportunity to make payments toward overdue child support under a court ordered or agreed repayment schedule; and has failed to comply with the repayment schedule.
J29.1 Is there a threshold arrears amount that serves as the basis to revoke or suspend a driver's license?
Yes.
J29.2 If yes, what is the amount?
The threshold arrears amount is met when the NCP owes overdue child support in an amount equal to or greater than the total support due for three months under a support order.
J30. Under what conditions may a noncustodial party restore the driver's license?
The court or Title IV-D agency may render an order vacating or staying an order suspending the NCP's license if the NCP has paid all delinquent child support or has established a satisfactory payment record; complied with the requirements of a reissued subpoena; or complied with the terms of any court order providing for the possession of or access to a child; or the court or Title IV-D agency determines that good cause exists for vacating or staying the order.
J30.1 What is the process for restoring a driver's license?
Once an NCP's license has been suspended, if the NCP has fulfilled the conditions to restore the NCP's license, a motion must be filed to either vacate the prior order suspending the NCP's license or to stay the order suspending the NCP's license suspension and a subsequent order must be entered.
J31. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses?
No
J31.1 If yes, what are the conditions?
N/A
J32. Describe any innovations or special practices your state uses regarding driver's license revocation and reinstatement.
If appropriate to the case, rather than pursuing an immediate license suspension, the state recommends the suspension of the non-custodial parent's license with stay of the license suspension, conditioned upon the non-custodial parent fulfilling certain specifically ordered terms and conditions, including the payment of a lump sum and periodic payments.
J33. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
N/A
J33.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for administrative offset?
N/A
J33.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J35. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J35.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes.
J36. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
N/A Texas does not currently submit a debtor file for the federal administrative offset.
J36.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for federal administrative offset?
N/A
J36.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J38. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J38.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes
J38.2 What is the dollar amount?
The system criteria include obligated cases with arrears of three times the current support obligation amount or $500, whichever is greater.
J39. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for passport denial?
Yes
J40. Does your state give the NCP credit for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits received directly by the CP?
When establishing or modifying support, in applying the child support guidelines for an obligor who has a disability and who is required to pay support for a child who receives benefits as a result of the obligor disability, the court shall apply the guidelines by determining the amount of child support that would be ordered under the child support guidelines and subtracting from that total the amount of benefits or the value of the benefits paid to or for the child as a result of the obligor disability. When enforcing child support, in addition to any other credit or offset available to an obligor under Title 5 of the Texas Family Code, if a child for whom the obligor owes child support receives a lump-sum payment as a result of the obligor disability and that payment is made to the obligee as the representative payee of the child, the obligor is entitled to a credit. This credit is equal to the amount of the lump-sum payment and shall be applied to any child support arrearage and interest owed by the obligor on behalf of that child at the time the payment is made.

K. Modification and Review/Adjustment

K1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year, every three years)?
Every three years for active TANF cases, otherwise upon request of a party.
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K2. Briefly describe your state's modification procedure.
Every three years for active TANF cases, otherwise upon request of a party.
K3. What are your criteria for modification (for example, $50 or 20% from present order)?
Generally a material and substantial change in circumstances is required for a modification.
K4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?
K4.1. The earnings of the obligor have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.2. The earnings of the obligee have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.4. The cost of living as measured by the Federal Bureau of Vital Statistics has changed.
No
K4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Yes
K4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
Yes
K4.7. What other criteria does your state use for demonstrating a change in circumstances for modifying an order?
Criteria used to demonstrate a material and substantial change in circumstances to support a child support modification action are found in the Texas Family Code Chapter 156, Subchapter E.
K5. Does your state have cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for orders?
No
K5.1. If yes, what index does your state use?
N/A
K6. How does your state credit SSA disability to current and past-due support?
When establishing or modifying support, in applying the child support guidelines for an obligor who has a disability and who is required to pay support for a child who receives benefits as a result of the obligor disability, the court shall apply the guidelines by determining the amount of child support that would be ordered under the child support guidelines and subtracting from that total the amount of benefits or the value of the benefits paid to or for the child as a result of the obligor disability. When enforcing child support, in addition to any other credit or offset available to an obligor under Title 5 of the Texas Family Code, if a child for whom the obligor owes child support receives a lump-sum payment as a result of the obligor disability and that payment is made to the obligee as the representative payee of the child, the obligor is entitled to a credit. This credit is equal to the amount of the lump-sum payment and shall be applied to any child support arrearage and interest owed by the obligor on behalf of that child at the time the payment is made.
K7. Does your state abate support? For example, when the child is not living with the CP for more than 30 days and there has not been a change in custody or when the NCP is in prison, etc.
No
K7.1. If yes, explain the circumstances?
N/A
K7.2. What is the statutory citation for your abatement law?
N/A
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K7.3. What documents does your state require for each type of referral other than UIFSA referrals? For example, pay records and certifications for TANF, etc.
Support is generally not automatically abated. If support is to be modified, including modification to $0 (zero dollars), copies of admissible evidence to support the modification is needed. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, records of disability payments made to the obligee on behalf of the child that were received based upon the obligor disability, records documenting a change in possession, records of dates of obligee/obligor military orders/deployments, pay records/arrears calculations, and/or affidavits of material witnesses.
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K7.4. What information does your state need to obtain copies of paternity acknowledgements/affidavits and birth records, including where to make requests and the cost of processing the requests.
Texas Acknowledgements of Paternity can be provided by the Texas ICR to another IV-D agency. Send a Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3 with the parents' full names and dates of birth, and the child's full name and date of birth as listed on the document. It is helpful to provide additional information such as mother's maiden name and parents' social security numbers. For additional information on requesting birth certificates and related fees, please refer to the responses in H10 and H10.1.
K8. What information does your state require to register an out-of-state order for enforcement/modification?
The Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #1, the registration statement, a certified copy of the order to be registered and a certified pay record/arrearage calculation affidavit are needed for registration and enforcement of the out-of-state order. Additionally, a UIFSA petition and general testimony should be included if the intergovernmental request includes registration, enforcement and modification when Texas has the legal authority to assume jurisdiction to modify the out-of-state order.
K9. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is no established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support?
Under these facts, when there is not an established or increased payment on the arrears under a court order or through an income withholding order, the payment does not automatically continue at the same rate as the prior current support.
K9.1. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is an established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support, current support plus arrears, or the arrears payment amount only?
Under these facts, the payment would continue at the rate established in the court order or income withholding order, however it is common for the terms of such orders to increase the payment on arrears as the current child support obligation decreases or terminates.
K10. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration? **
Pursuant to Texas Family Code Chapter 154, child support terminates on any of the following: the marriage of the child; removal of disabilities of minority by court order; the death of the child; the child is 18 and is no longer enrolled in an accredited or private secondary school program leading toward a high school diploma, or courses for joint high school and junior college credit, or the child is 18 and although enrolled in such program, is not complying with the minimum attendance requirements; the parent-child relationship is terminated and support was not ordered after the date of the termination; the child enters into military service; or the marriage or remarriage of the obligor and obligee.

L. Payments

L1. Does your state define a lump sum payment?
Yes
L1.1 If yes, give your state's definition. (Be specific, for example, severance pay, incentives, relocation lump sum payments, etc.).
"Lump-sum payment" is defined as income in the form of a bonus or an amount paid in lieu of vacation or other leave time. The term does not include an employee's usual earnings or an amount paid as severance pay. Texas Family Code 158.215(a)
L1.2 Provide the statutory citation.
Texas Family Code 158.215(a)
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L2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments?
Yes
L2.1 If yes, give the statutory citation or rule.
Texas Family Code 158.215(b) & (c)
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L3. Are employers required to report lump sum payments for all income-withholding orders (including cases with no arrears)?
Yes
L3.1 If yes, what is the threshold amount at which a lump sum payment must be reported?
The threshold amount is $500. Employers are required to report obligors who are under an income withholding order for child support in a Title IV-D case.
L4. How are employers instructed to report a pending lump sum?
Employers are provided several options including two internet options and a facsimile option.
L5. What is the timeframe within which the child support enforcement agency must respond to the employer with instructions for attaching the lump sum?
The agency must respond within 10 days.
L6. Does your state use the income-withholding order to attach the lump sum payment?
No
L7. Does your state use the lien/levy process to attach lump sum payments?
No
L7.1. If yes, what is the name of the document your state uses to attach non-wage lump sum payments?
N/A
L8. What other documents does your state use to attach lump sum payments?
Texas law requires employers to notify the Texas IV-D agency before making a lump-sum payment to an employee if the employer is in receipt of an income withholding order on a Title IV-D case and the lump sum gross amount is $500 or more. This notification may be made by the employer either completing and submitting the Notice of Intent to Distribute Lump Sum Payments or Lump Sum Notice File Layout form which is found on the OAG Employer Website www.employer.oag.state.tx.us, using the data transfer system available to employers registered on the OAG Employer Website, or using the Texas IV-D lump sum contact information on the OCSE Employer Contact and Program Information page to notify the Texas IV-D agency of a lump sum. The reporting employer must not pay the lump sum to the employee until the earlier of 10 days from the date the employer provided notice of the lump sum to the Texas IV-D agency, or until the employer receives authorization from the Texas IV-D agency to make payment.
L9. If the lump sum payment is considered earnings as defined by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), does your state have higher limits on withholding than the CCPA limit?
No. State law limits the withholding maximum to the lesser of the amount of the arrears or 50 percent of the obligor disposable earnings, which may be less than or equal to the CCPA limit. Texas Family Code Section 158.009.
L9.1. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
L9.2. If the lump sum is not considered to be earnings as defined by the CCPA, does your state limit the withholding/attachment?
The lump sum is considered earnings. As earnings of the obligor, state law limits the withholding maximum to the lesser of the amount of the arrears or 50 percent of the obligor disposable earnings.
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L9.3. If yes, what are those limits?
As earnings of the obligor, state law limits the withholding maximum to the lesser of the amount of the arrears or 50 percent of the obligor disposable earnings. Texas Family Code Section 158.009.
L9.4. If no, what percentage is the employer required to withhold?
N/A
L10. If an employer pays the lump sum in addition to regular wages in a single payment, would the CCPA limits apply?
Yes
L10.1 If yes, would the employer only withhold for that period's obligation?
The amount an employer must withhold and remit to the state disbursement unit is the lesser of the total child support and medical support arrears at the end of the previous month or the withholding maximum (50 percent of the total net lump-sum payment amount the obligor/employee is expected to receive).
L11. Does your state have a direct deposit program?
Yes
L11.1 If so, specify the vendor.
CP direct deposit is handled by the state disbursement unit vendor. Systems and Methods, Inc.
L12. Does your state have a debit card program?
Yes. The CP debit card program is handled by the state disbursement unit vendor.
L12.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Systems and Methods, Inc.
L13. Is the debit card used for any other state government programs (TANF, SNAP, etc.)?
No
L13.1 If so, are there fees involved?
N/A
L14. What are the fees associated with using the card?
Customers receive a Cardholder Agreement with a complete listing of fees. Primary examples of customer debit card fees may include the following, if applicable: ATM surcharge fee; ATM withdrawal fee; teller withdrawal fee; domestic ATM balance inquiry fee; domestic ATM transaction NSF declined fee; domestic POS transaction NSF declined fee; international POS PIN transaction fee; international POS signature transaction fee; international ATM balance inquiry fee; international ATM transaction NSF declined fee; international POS transaction declined fee; expedited card replacement fee; online bill pay fee; paper account statement fee; account closing check issuance fee; and international transactions currency conversion fee (Other international fees may also apply.)
L15. How does your state collect child support payments from an obligor? **
Payments must be made to a central location, and payments may be made by income withholding, check or warrant, credit card, electronic funds transfer from a United States associated bank, and cash payment. Note that when the payor (the obligor or the obligor's employer)is outside the United States, all of the above options may not be available.
L16. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and treaty countries when your state is the responding state in a case? **
Payments may be disbursed by check, electronic funds transfer to a bank account based in the United States, or to a debit card.
L17. What actions does your state take to reduce the costs and fees associated with international payment processing? **
Texas takes no special actions regarding the fees and costs associated with outbound international payment processing. To reduce costs and fees associated with received payments, Texas submits foreign items for exchange rate prior to processing. In the event there is a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee, the fee is assessed against the NCP.
L18. Does your state process electronic payments in international cases? **
No
L18.1 If so, describe the process. **
International payments may be accepted electronically in limited circumstances.
L19. What is your state's International Bank Account Number (IBAN)? **
Texas does not have an International Bank Account Number.

M. Insurance Match

M1. Note: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits may apply to any insurance payments issued as an income loss replacement.

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M1.1. Additional information on the CCPA.

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M2. Does your state have legislation that requires insurance companies doing business in your state to provide, exchange, or look up information with or for your state IV-D agency to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support?
Yes
M2.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation
Texas Family Code 231.015
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M2.1.2. What information is an insurer required to provide, exchange, or look up with your state's IV-D agency?
If the insurer is utilizing the direct interactive lookup process, the information needed includes the following: claimant's name, claimant's social security number, and claimant's date of birth. Insurers are also asked to provide the claim number to assist in assuring any associated child support lien is accurately matched to the correct claim. If the insurer is utilizing the OCSE bulk data match, the insurer must provide the minimum information specified by the OCSE bulk data match process. If the insurer is utilizing the Insurance Service Office (ISO), an industry service provider, to meet this requirement, then the insurer must provide the information required by said provider. See 1 TAC Chapter 55, Subchapter M.
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M2.2. How long before making a payment to a claimant must an insurer provide information to the agency?
Utilizing either the direct interactive lookup or automated data match process, insurers can identify whether there is a match for their claimant. Payment should not be made until a response is received.
M2.3. What criteria must an obligor meet to be eligible for your state's insurance match, exchange, look up, or intercept program? For example, is the law limited to specific claimants (such as policyholder, beneficiary or joint policyholder), types of claims (such as life, property/casualty, or workers' compensation), or specific policies (such as annuities, short term/long term disability)?
Although there is no minimum arrears threshold for a child support lien in Texas, system criteria have been established for the insurance intercept process requiring minimum arrears in an amount that is the greater of three times the current support obligation or $500. Additional guidance is provided for insurers in Texas Family Code Section 231.015 and in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Chapter 55, Subchapter M.
M2.4. Must the obligor meet a monetary threshold (dollar amount or percentage of payment) to be eligible for your state's insurance match program?
No
M2.5. What does the law require an insurer to do to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support (for example, log into a secure web application and enter identifying information about the claimant)?
The Texas Administrative Code sets out two methods for compliance: participate in an automated data matching process (through OCSE or the authorized industry service provider), or utilize the individual lookup process.
M2.6. Does your state law provide an alternative method or measure that an insurer may use to determine whether the claimant owes past-due child support (for example, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match Program satisfies the requirement)?
Yes, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match program will fulfill the insurance claim reporting requirement.
M2.7. Does your state law establish a penalty for an insurer that fails to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past-due child support? If so, provide the statutory citation.
Although state law does not currently impose a penalty for failure to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past due child support, Texas Family Code 157.324 provides that failure to honor the lien can result in liability in an amount up to the amount of the settlement but not to exceed the amount of the arrearage stated in the document.
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M2.8. Does your state law protect an insurer from liability for acting in accordance with the insurance match law?
Yes, by Texas Administrative Code rule, 1 TAC Section 55.605.
M3. If there is no law, are insurers required to respond to subpoenas or requests for information and liens/levies or IWOs?
N/A
M3.1. Provide the statutory citation.
See Texas Family Code Section 231.015 and Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Chapter 55, Subchapter M.
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M4. What forms does your state use to intercept insurance payments, settlements, or awards (such as IWO, Notice of Lien/Levy)?
Notice of Lien/Levy.
M5. Who is required notify the NCP of the insurance intercept activity: the child support enforcement agency, the insurance agency, or both?
The IV-D agency will initiate a Notice of Lien/Levy to the NCP. Depending upon the kind of claim and policy terms, the insurance agency may also have certain notice requirements.
M5.1. Provide your statutory citation for notifying an NCP of insurance intercept.
Texas Family Code Section 157.314.
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M5.2. Once notified, is there an appeal period for the obligor and what is its length? Give the statutory citation.
There is no statutory provision for the number of days an NCP has to appeal a Notice of Lien.
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M6. Are there attorney fees associated with the insurance intercept activity?
Attorney fees may be requested when seeking child support enforcement, except for certain contempt actions, the court may waive the assessment of these fees.
M7. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your state workers' compensation agency?
Income withholding orders and child support liens can be submitted to the Worker's Compensation carriers directly by another state IV-D agency without initiating a UIFSA action to the Texas IV-D agency. If a UIFSA enforcement action has been initiated to the Texas IV-D agency and Texas is serving as the responding state, the Texas IV-D agency will initiate the appropriate income withholding order or child support lien.
M7.1. What is the process, the points of contact, and what forms?
Another state may directly initiate and intercept collections by utilizing the OCSE promulgated income withholding order or child support lien to a Texas Workers Compensation agency. The forms needed to initiate an UIFSA request to the Texas IV-D agency for enforcement and or modification will vary depending upon the enforcement or modification actions needed.

N. Case Closure

N1. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to let the responding state know its intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15)
Yes
N2. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that its case is closed based on one of the following reasons: (MSC P GSC16) (a)Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (b)The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case?
Yes
N3. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders or notices and close the intergovernmental case? MSC P GSC17)
No
N4. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that per its request the case is closed and your state has stopped its income withholding order? (MSC P GSC18)
No