"Dedicated to Child & Spousal Support Enforcement"

If We Don't Collect, You Don't Pay!

Follow Us

Facebook LinkedIn Google +

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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer

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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
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
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
No optional comments submitted.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
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.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
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.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
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.
For Additional Information -