As experienced Houston Divorce and Child Support Lawyers, we understand that going through a divorce is very difficult for everyone involved. That's why we try to make the process as smooth as possible by providing information on relevant topics and links to helpful resources for our clients throughout Houston and its surrounding counties. When it comes to child support related matters, one of the best places to look for helpful information is on your county's district clerk's office website.
In Harris County, the district clerk's office has some excellent online tools and information on family law related issues, but especially on child support management.
If you are paying child support to a Harris County resident after a divorce settlement, you can view a history of your payments on the child support payment page and request a certified copy in case you need to prove your payments. You need your 7-10 digit case number to sign in. If you are not sure what your Harris County case number is, your divorce lawyer should be able to provide it to you.
You can also find instructions about child support wage withholding along with a form to request withholding from your employer. Wage withholding will deduct your child support payments directly from your earnings. The clerk will send a copy of the order to your current employer when you file a request or when the Judge in your case orders wage withholding.
For parents who have been awarded custody and child support from their divorce settlement, one way to receive payments for child support in Harris County is with a Texas Debit Card. It is a paperless way to receive your child support payments every month and can be used anywhere Visa debit is accepted. You can also file a form which will automatically deposit your payments into a bank account through direct deposit. The form can be found at the county's website. Consult your child support lawyer to determine if you should change how you receive support payments.
The Harris County Child Support Office publishes a list of names that may have unclaimed money from payments that were originally processed by their office for individuals whose addresses are either outdated or missing. You can view the list at the Harris County Clerk's office website to determine if you have any unclaimed funds in the account. If your name is on the list, there is a form to fill out to claim the money.
Non-Custodial and Custodial Parents
For both custodial and non-custodial parents, FOCAS provides customer service regarding case status, payment research requests, and many other general child support questions and concerns.
"FOCAS is a monitoring and enforcement program provided by the Harris County District Clerk's Office in collaboration with the Domestic Relations Office and the Attorney General's Office to ensure timely receipt and disbursement of child support payments."
For non-custodial parents, the FOCAS program provides:
- Assistance regarding case status, payment research requests, and many other child support questions and concerns.
- Reviews and modifications of child support orders when a substantial change occurs such as a dependant coming of age or increase/decrease in earned wages.
- Referrals for qualifying non-custodial parents to appropriate organizations for educational/employment assistance.
- Various payment options offered for convenience such as online credit card and bank draft payments.
For custodial parents, the FOCAS program provides:
- Non-custodial parent's employer wage withholding request when court order contains wage withholding verbiage and provides non-custodial parent's employer information.
- Reviews and modifications of child support orders when a substantial change occurs such as a dependant coming of age or increase/decrease in non-custodial parent's wages.
- Enforcement of child and medical support orders.
- Various methods to collect on child support through income withholding, tax intercept, contempt and other methods.
- Various resources to locate non-custodial parent.
Remember, talk to your divorce lawyer or child support lawyer if you have any questions or concerns about your case. Nichols Law Firm proudly serves the family law needs of Harris County and its surrounding communities. Our Houston Divorce Lawyers are always here to help.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.