Things to know about court:

  • You will not be provided with an attorney for your child support hearing.  In court, there will be an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) present, but this attorney represents the best interest of the state and the best interest of the child(ren).  The AAG does not represent you or the other parent.   
  • You are not required to have an attorney with you at child support court hearings, but if you would like legal representation, you have to find your own attorney. If there has been a history of family violence, find an attorney who is knowledgeable in both family law and family violence matters. You may be eligible for an attorney through your local Legal Aid provider. To access information about this potential option, go to http://texaslawhelp.org/find-legal-help.
  • At court, you should not be required to negotiate in the same room or at the same table as the other parent.
  • Keep in mind that even though the OAG will take steps to keep parents separated at court, you may still see the other parent and may have to be in the same waiting area.
  • If a hearing is required, you may also have to stand before the judge near the other parent. Also, keep in mind that you will be required to testify about the family violence in front of the judge with the abuser present.
  • The child support order established by the court will address paternity (if necessary), child support, medical support, custody (conservatorship) and visitation (possession and access).
    • For visitation orders, consider requesting the exchange of children at a safe exchange site or via a neutral third party, if needed.
    • The court may also order supervised visitation. Supervised visits can be held at a professional facility that has trained staff to supervise visits, if available in your area, or if you and the other parent can agree upon a neutral third party, that third party can supervise visits. See the next section for more information on this topic.