Understanding the types of child support cases

There are a number of different types of child support cases that may apply to Texas parent. When exes are newly involved with the system, they may not be sure exactly how these cases are defined or why they are different. For example, some families manage child support payments directly between the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent while others pay child support through a state agency. There are a few types of cases, including IV-D, IV-A, IV-E and non-IV-D child support matters.

The "IV" designation is a reference to Title IV of the 1975 Social Security Act, which regulates the grants that states receive for aid and services to children and their families. In an IV-D child support case, the custodial parent receives some kind of support from the Office of Child Support Enforcement in order to receive payments. The types of assistance can vary based on certain factors, including establishing paternity or enforcing an existing child support order. An IV-A case is one in which the custodial parent gets public assistance from the state; in these cases, an automatic referral is made to the OCSE.

IV-E cases refer to those in which a child is cared for by another person, such as a foster parent. In non-IV-D cases, which represent the majority of cases stemming from a divorce, child support is established privately and paid directly between the parents. A case can change over the course of the parents' lives, as well. If the non-custodial parent in a non-IV-D case fails to abide by a support order, it can become an IV-D case.

When parents decide to divorce, both have a responsibility to provide for their children. A family law attorney can represent a single parent seeking child support or a modification to an existing support order.

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