When do you need an attorney on a child support case?

William E. Sollows

The short answer is that if the case purely concerns the creation or enforcement of a child support obligation, in Texas you may not need an attorney. This is largely because in Texas the calculation of child support is a mathematical calculation based on the paying parent’s income and number of children being supported. If you are the parent seeking to create or enforce a child support order and you are no longer cohabitating with the other parent, the Attorney General can assist in the creation of the original order and later enforcement of such an order if the other parent does not comply. If you are the parent under a support obligation and are trying to make sure the amount of support is correct or that you are properly credited for payments you have made, the attorney general (who represents neither party) can assist in going through your records to ensure that the calculations are proper.

In some cases, you may need an attorney in child support matters: if you are facing a jail sentence for contempt, have a court order not issued by the attorney general that you need modified or enforced, or are having a hard time getting the attorney general’s assistance, hiring a respected and competent attorney is probably the best option. Just don’t delay! Many people who need legal representation wait until the last minute before a hearing to seek a lawyer and find it difficult to both find an available skilled lawyer and gather the necessary fees.

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