When child support is an issue between separated parents, as it often is, one or both parents might apply to the Office of the Attorney General for services. In addition, if the State of Texas is providing public benefits to a parent of the child, the Attorney General may either file their own action for child support or intervene in a pending case between the parents.
It is important to remember that the Attorney General only represents the State of Texas in a suit involving a child. This means that they will generally not take a position on items such as custody or visitation that may be in dispute in between the parties. Their sole interest is to make sure that the child is being financially supported by the parents.
In certain counties, the Attorney General has their own courts of jurisdiction where suits that they file are heard. Essentially, these are associate courts that hear many cases in a particular day having to do with child support, retroactive child support, health insurance, and unreimbursed medical expenses for example. The decisions handed down by these courts are final, but appealable to the District Court in which the case was originally assigned.
A litigant must proceed with caution when the Attorney General is involved, as they might seek to pursue certain remedies against them for things such as non-payment of child support. These remedies might include an order of contempt containing a judgment for back due child support, suspension of a license, or, more importantly, jail time. If you have a case involving the Attorney General, it is in your interests to talk to an attorney to assess the case, build a strategy, and assert any defenses you may have to the establishment or enforcement of child support against you.