If you are involved in a Texas family law matter involving the parent-children relationship, you may come across the acronym CSRP. This is known legally as the Child Support Review Process.
In Texas, CSRP falls under the authority of the Office of the Attorney General. The two categories of family law issues handled by their office include:
CSRP mainly focuses on establishing, modifying, or enforcing child support orders. Resolutions about paternity are also handled through this review, so we’ll dive into both areas to help you know what to expect in either situation.
CSRP in Action: Child Support and Paternity Reviews
We’ll focus on the child support aspect of CSRP since it is more prevalent, then provide information on paternity issues that fall under CSRP.
1. Child Support
In cases where a child support review is initiated, the local Child Support Division office in your area will request a meeting with you and the other parent to address child support issues.
The goal is to establish child support payments made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent without having to advance to a court hearing.
– If both parties agree on the payment arrangement, the information will be submitted to the court for final approval. This step is the easiest path forward to finalize a child support order.
– If the parties cannot agree on a payment schedule, the Child Support office will recommend a court hearing for formal review.
The primary reason why a court hearing will be scheduled is when you and the other parent did not reach an agreement during the CSRP meeting. There are a few other reasons why you may need to appear in court pertaining to a CSRP review:
- There are safety concerns related to family violence.
- One of the parents is a minor.
- The Office of the Attorney General uses its discretion to request a court hearing.
During a hearing, the court will hear evidence, weigh the facts of the case, and strive for a resolution to the child support dispute.
– If both parties agree on the court-recommended child support arrangement, the judge will approve the child support order and sign it into existence.
– If the parties still cannot agree on a payment schedule, the judge will make a final decision about the child support obligations from one party to another.
The more the court gets involved, the more likely you will have to appear multiple times and incur additional court fees. It’s recommended that you strive for a resolution as quickly as possible – unless there is a serious impasse between you and the other parent that needs to be addressed.
Facilitating Payments and Enforcing Orders
When a child support order is issued, the Office of the Attorney General participates in facilitating payments to the custodial parent who is set to receive payments.
If the non-custodial parent responsible for making the payments does not follow through, the Attorney General’s Office will act to compel the responsible parent to make payments.
The AG’s Office could garnish wages or take other actions to enforce the child support order and ensure the custodial parent receives what they are entitled to receive.
As mentioned before, CSRP does include modifying child support orders. If there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances, you could request a formal review of your child support payment obligations.
During this CSRP in-office negotiation, a mediator will host a meeting between you and the other parent to review the situation and discuss options. If you come to an agreement on a change, they will send the recommendation to the court.
However, if you are unable to reach an agreement, you will then need to follow the same steps of attending a court hearing to make your case for a modification before the judge.
Keep in mind that your child support obligation can only be officially changed through the CSRP review or by a court hearing – informal arrangements will not be recognized by the court.
The other major legal issue that falls under CSRP is establishing parentage. Similar to child support payments, the goal here is to reach an agreement without having to go to court.
If both parties agree on who the father of a child is, then the parents will sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) legal document. This will be submitted to the court to create an official record.
However, disputes often arise if it’s unclear who the biological parent of a child is. Then, the courts will need to get involved. A court order will resolve paternity when parents disagree on the identity of the child’s father.
– If you are a man who believes he is the father of a child, a critical step during this process is to request a paternity test. Taking this step will help validate your claim and expedite the review process.
Find Help with Child Support and Paternity Issues
We recognize that child support and paternity are delicate matters. They can produce a mix of strong feelings, which is why it’s essential to work with an expert family law attorney who can guide you through the CSRP review process.
At Parker & Aguilar, we are knowledgeable and experienced with these issues. We will fight to protect your parental rights and help you arrive at the best possible outcome for your situation.
We currently support parents in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Matagorda County. If you live in one of these counties, contact us today to discuss your case.
You can reach our offices at 979-267-7660 (Angleton office) or 281-944-5485 (Sugar Land office) to speak with one of our attorneys. We look forward to supporting you during this process.