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Statutes > Texas > Family-code > Title-5-the-parent-child-relationship-and-the-suit-affecting-the-parent-child-relationship > Chapter-231-title-iv-d-services

FAMILY CODE

TITLE 5. THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP AND THE SUIT AFFECTING THE

PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP

SUBTITLE D. ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

CHAPTER 231. TITLE IV-D SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER A. ADMINISTRATION OF TITLE IV-D PROGRAM

Sec. 231.001. DESIGNATION OF TITLE IV-D AGENCY. The office of

the attorney general is designated as the state’s Title IV-D

agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.0011. DEVELOPMENT OF STATEWIDE INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR

CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The Title

IV-D agency shall have final approval authority on any contract

or proposal for delivery of Title IV-D services under this

section and in coordination with the Texas Judicial Council, the

Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System, the

federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, and state, county,

and local officials, shall develop and implement a statewide

integrated system for child support and medical support

enforcement, employing federal, state, local, and private

resources to:

(1) unify child support registry functions;

(2) record and track all child support orders entered in the

state;

(3) establish an automated enforcement process which will use

delinquency monitoring, billing, and other enforcement techniques

to ensure the payment of current support;

(4) incorporate existing enforcement resources into the system

to obtain maximum benefit from state and federal funding; and

(5) ensure accountability for all participants in the process,

including state, county, and local officials, private

contractors, and the judiciary.

(b) Counties and other providers of child support services shall

be required, as a condition of participation in the unified

system, to enter into a contract with the Title IV-D agency, to

comply with all federal requirements for the Title IV-D program,

and to maintain at least the current level of funding for

activities which are proposed to be included in the integrated

child support system.

(c) The Title IV-D agency may contract with any county meeting

technical system requirements necessary to comply with federal

law for provision of Title IV-D services in that county. All new

cases in which support orders are entered in such county after

the effective date of a monitoring contract shall be Title IV-D

cases. Any other case in the county, subject to federal

requirements and the agreement of the county and the Title IV-D

agency, may be included as a Title IV-D case. Any obligee under a

support order may refuse Title IV-D enforcement services unless

required to accept such services pursuant to other law.

(d) Counties participating in the unified enforcement system

shall monitor all child support registry cases and on delinquency

may, subject to the approval of the Title IV-D agency, provide

enforcement services through:

(1) direct provision of services by county personnel;

(2) subcontracting all or portions of the services to private

entities or attorneys; or

(3) such other methods as may be approved by the Title IV-D

agency.

(e) The Title IV-D agency may phase in the integrated child

support registry and enforcement system, and the requirement to

implement the system shall be contingent on the receipt of

locally generated funds and federal reimbursement. Locally

generated funds include but are not limited to funds contributed

by counties and cities.

(f) The Title IV-D agency shall adopt rules to implement this

section.

(g) Participation in the statewide integrated system for child

support and medical support enforcement by a county is voluntary,

and nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate

participation.

(h) This section does not limit the ability of the Title IV-D

agency to enter into an agreement with a county for the provision

of services as authorized under Section 231.002.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 12, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 50, eff. Sept.

1, 1999.

Sec. 231.0012. CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT MANAGEMENT. The person

appointed by the attorney general as the person responsible for

managing the Title IV-D agency’s child support enforcement duties

shall report directly to the attorney general.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 231.0013. DEDICATION OF FUNDS. Appropriations made to the

Title IV-D agency for child support enforcement may be expended

only for the purposes for which the money was appropriated.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 231.002. POWERS AND DUTIES. (a) The Title IV-D agency

may:

(1) accept, transfer, and expend funds, subject to the General

Appropriations Act, made available by the federal or state

government or by another public or private source for the purpose

of carrying out this chapter;

(2) adopt rules for the provision of child support services;

(3) initiate legal actions needed to implement this chapter; and

(4) enter into contracts or agreements necessary to administer

this chapter.

(b) The Title IV-D agency may perform the duties and functions

necessary for locating children under agreements with the federal

government as provided by 42 U.S.C. Section 663.

(c) The Title IV-D agency may enter into agreements or contracts

with federal, state, or other public or private agencies or

individuals for the purpose of carrying out the agency’s

responsibilities under federal or state law. The agreements or

contracts between the agency and other state agencies or

political subdivisions of this or another state, including a

consortia of multiple states, and agreements or contracts with

vendors for the delivery of program services are not subject to

Chapter 771 or 783, Government Code.

(d) Consistent with federal law and any international treaty or

convention to which the United States is a party and that has

been ratified by the United States Congress, the Title IV-D

agency may:

(1) on approval by and in cooperation with the governor, pursue

negotiations and enter into reciprocal arrangements with the

federal government, another state, or a foreign country or a

political subdivision of the federal government, state, or

foreign country to:

(A) establish and enforce child support obligations; and

(B) establish mechanisms to enforce an order providing for

possession of or access to a child rendered under Chapter 153;

(2) spend money appropriated to the agency for child support

enforcement to engage in international child support enforcement;

and

(3) spend other money appropriated to the agency necessary for

the agency to conduct the agency’s activities under Subdivision

(1).

(e) The Title IV-D agency may take the following administrative

actions with respect to the location of a parent, the

determination of parentage, and the establishment, modification,

and enforcement of child support and medical support orders

required by 42 U.S.C. Section 666(c), without obtaining an order

from any other judicial or administrative tribunal:

(1) issue an administrative subpoena, as provided by Section

231.303, to obtain financial or other information;

(2) order genetic testing for parentage determination, as

provided by Chapter 233;

(3) order income withholding, as provided by Chapter 233, and

issue an administrative writ of withholding, as provided by

Chapter 158; and

(4) take any action with respect to execution, collection, and

release of a judgment or lien for child support necessary to

satisfy the judgment or lien, as provided by Chapter 157.

(f) The Title IV-D agency shall recognize and enforce the

authority of the Title IV-D agency of another state to take

actions similar to the actions listed in this section.

(g) The Title IV-D agency shall develop and use procedures for

the administrative enforcement of interstate cases meeting the

requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 666(a)(14) under which the

agency:

(1) shall promptly respond to a request made by another state

for assistance in a Title IV-D case; and

(2) may, by electronic or other means, transmit to another state

a request for assistance in a Title IV-D case.

(h) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 164, Sec. 3,

eff. May 26, 2009.

(i) The Title IV-D agency may provide a release or satisfaction

of a judgment for all or part of the amount of the arrearages

assigned to the Title IV-D agency under Section 231.104(a).

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 68, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.27, eff. Sept. 1,

1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 51, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts

2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

164, Sec. 3, eff. May 26, 2009.

Sec. 231.003. FORMS AND PROCEDURES. The Title IV-D agency shall

by rule promulgate any forms and procedures necessary to comply

fully with the intent of this chapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.005. BIENNIAL REPORT REQUIRED. (a) The Title IV-D

agency shall report to the legislature each biennium on:

(1) the effectiveness of the agency’s child support enforcement

activity in reducing the state’s public assistance obligations;

(2) the use and effectiveness of all enforcement tools

authorized by state or federal law or otherwise available to the

agency; and

(3) the progress and impact of the Title IV-D agency’s efforts

to use private contractors to perform Title IV-D program

functions.

(b) The agency shall develop a method for estimating the costs

and benefits of the child support enforcement program and the

effect of the program on appropriations for public assistance.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 51, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 231.006. INELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE STATE GRANTS OR LOANS OR

RECEIVE PAYMENT ON STATE CONTRACTS. (a) A child support obligor

who is more than 30 days delinquent in paying child support and a

business entity in which the obligor is a sole proprietor,

partner, shareholder, or owner with an ownership interest of at

least 25 percent is not eligible to:

(1) receive payments from state funds under a contract to

provide property, materials, or services; or

(2) receive a state-funded grant or loan.

(a-1) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec.

65(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(b) A child support obligor or business entity ineligible to

receive payments under Subsection (a) remains ineligible until:

(1) all arrearages have been paid;

(2) the obligor is in compliance with a written repayment

agreement or court order as to any existing delinquency; or

(3) the court of continuing jurisdiction over the child support

order has granted the obligor an exemption from Subsection (a) as

part of a court-supervised effort to improve earnings and child

support payments.

(c) A bid or an application for a contract, grant, or loan paid

from state funds must include the name and social security number

of the individual or sole proprietor and each partner,

shareholder, or owner with an ownership interest of at least 25

percent of the business entity submitting the bid or application.

(d) A contract, bid, or application subject to the requirements

of this section must include the following statement:

“Under Section 231.006, Family Code, the vendor or applicant

certifies that the individual or business entity named in this

contract, bid, or application is not ineligible to receive the

specified grant, loan, or payment and acknowledges that this

contract may be terminated and payment may be withheld if this

certification is inaccurate.”

(e) If a state agency determines that an individual or business

entity holding a state contract is ineligible to receive payment

under Subsection (a), the contract may be terminated.

(f) If the certificate required under Subsection (d) is shown to

be false, the vendor is liable to the state for attorney’s fees,

the costs necessary to complete the contract, including the cost

of advertising and awarding a second contract, and any other

damages provided by law or contract.

(g) This section does not create a cause of action to contest a

bid or award of a state grant, loan, or contract. This section

does not impose a duty on the Title IV-D agency to collect

information to send to the comptroller to withhold a payment to a

business entity. The Title IV-D agency and other affected

agencies are encouraged to develop a system by which the Title

IV-D agency may identify a business entity that is ineligible to

receive a state payment under Subsection (a) and to ensure that a

state payment to the entity is not made. This system should be

implemented using existing funds and only if the Title IV-D

agency, comptroller, and other affected agencies determine that

it will be cost-effective.

(h) This section does not apply to a contract between

governmental entities.

(i) The Title IV-D agency may adopt rules or prescribe forms to

implement any provision of this section.

(j) A state agency may accept a bid that does not include the

information required under Subsection (c) if the state agency

collects the information before the contract, grant, or loan is

executed.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 82, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 28, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 437, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 65(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 231.007. DEBTS TO STATE. (a) A person obligated to pay

child support in a case in which the Title IV-D agency is

providing services under this chapter who does not pay the

required support is indebted to the state for the purposes of

Section 403.055, Government Code, if the Title IV-D agency has

reported the person to the comptroller under that section

properly.

(b) The amount of a person’s indebtedness to the state under

Subsection (a) is equal to the sum of:

(1) the amount of the required child support that has not been

paid; and

(2) any interest, fees, court costs, or other amounts owed by

the person because the person has not paid the support.

(c) The Title IV-D agency is the sole assignee of all payments,

including payments of compensation, by the state to a person

indebted to the state under Subsection (a).

(d) On request of the Title IV-D agency:

(1) the comptroller shall make payable and deliver to the agency

any payments for which the agency is the assignee under

Subsection (c), if the comptroller is responsible for issuing

warrants or initiating electronic funds transfers to make those

payments; and

(2) a state agency shall make payable and deliver to the Title

IV-D agency any payments for which the Title IV-D agency is the

assignee under Subsection (c) if the comptroller is not

responsible for issuing warrants or initiating electronic funds

transfers to make those payments.

(e) A person indebted to the state under Subsection (a) may

eliminate the debt by:

(1) paying the entire amount of the debt; or

(2) resolving the debt in a manner acceptable to the Title IV-D

agency.

(f) The comptroller or a state agency may rely on a

representation by the Title IV-D agency that:

(1) a person is indebted to the state under Subsection (a); or

(2) a person who was indebted to the state under Subsection (a)

has eliminated the debt.

(g) Except as provided by Subsection (h), the payment of

workers’ compensation benefits to a person indebted to the state

under Subsection (a) is the same for the purposes of this section

as any other payment made to the person by the state.

Notwithstanding Section 408.203, Labor Code, an order or writ to

withhold income from workers’ compensation benefits is not

required before the benefits are withheld or assigned under this

section.

(h) The amount of weekly workers’ compensation benefits that may

be withheld or assigned under this section may not exceed 50

percent of the person’s weekly compensation benefits. The

comptroller or a state agency may rely on a representation by the

Title IV-D agency that a withholding or assignment under this

section would not violate this subsection.

(i) Section 403.055(d), Government Code, does not authorize the

comptroller to issue a warrant or initiate an electronic funds

transfer to pay the compensation or remuneration of an individual

who is indebted to the state under Subsection (a).

(j) Section 2107.008(h), Government Code, does not authorize a

state agency to pay the compensation or remuneration of an

individual who is indebted to the state under Subsection (a).

(k) In this section, “compensation,” “state agency,” and “state

officer or employee” have the meanings assigned by Section

403.055, Government Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 83, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.19, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1467, Sec. 1.07, eff.

Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 6, eff. June

15, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1,

2003.

Sec. 231.008. DISPOSITION OF FUNDS. (a) The Title IV-D agency

shall deposit money received under assignments or as fees in a

special fund in the state treasury. The agency may spend money in

the fund for the administration of this chapter, subject to the

General Appropriations Act.

(b) All other money received under this chapter shall be

deposited in a special fund in the state treasury.

(c) Sections 403.094 and 403.095, Government Code, do not apply

to a fund described by this section.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.009. PAYMENT OF PENALTIES. From funds appropriated for

the Title IV-D agency, the agency shall reimburse the Texas

Department of Human Services for any penalty assessed under Title

IV-A of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et

seq.) that is assessed because of the agency’s administration of

this chapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.010. COOPERATION WITH DEPARTMENT OF PROTECTIVE AND

REGULATORY SERVICES. (a) In this section, “department” means

the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

(b) To the extent possible, the Title IV-D agency shall:

(1) provide to the department access to all of the Title IV-D

agency’s available child support locating resources;

(2) allow the department to use the Title IV-D agency’s child

support enforcement system to track child support payments and to

have access to the agency’s management reports that show payments

made;

(3) make reports on Title IV-E, Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.

Section 670 et seq.), foster care collections available to the

department in a timely manner; and

(4) work with the department to obtain child support payments

for protective services cases in which the department is

responsible for providing care for children under temporary and

final orders.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 228, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1999. Renumbered from Family Code Sec. 231.011 by Acts 2003, 78th

Leg., ch. 1275, Sec. 2(53), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 231.012. CHILD SUPPORT WORK GROUP. (a) The director of

the Title IV-D agency may convene a work group representing

public and private entities with an interest in child support

enforcement in this state to work with the director in developing

strategies to improve child support enforcement in this state.

(b) The director of the Title IV-D agency shall appoint the

members of the work group after consulting with appropriate

public and private entities.

(c) The work group shall meet as convened by the director of the

Title IV-D agency and consult with the director on matters

relating to child support enforcement in this state, including

the delivery of Title IV-D services.

(d) A work group member or the member’s designee may not receive

compensation but is entitled to reimbursement for actual and

necessary expenses incurred in performing the member’s duties

under this section.

(e) The work group is not an advisory committee as defined by

Section 2110.001, Government Code. Chapter 2110, Government Code,

does not apply to the work group.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 51, eff. Sept. 1,

1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1258, Sec. 25, eff.

Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 46, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 47, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 231.013. INFORMATION RESOURCES STEERING COMMITTEE. (a)

The Title IV-D agency shall create an information resources

steering committee to:

(1) oversee information resource project development for the

Title IV-D agency;

(2) make strategic prioritization recommendations;

(3) facilitate development of accurate information for the

director of the Title IV-D agency; and

(4) perform other functions as determined by the director of the

Title IV-D agency.

(b) The steering committee must include a senior management

executive representing each significant function of the Title

IV-D agency. The steering committee may include a person

representing:

(1) counties; or

(2) a vendor contracting with the Title IV-D agency.

(c) The director of the Title IV-D agency shall appoint the

members of the steering committee after consulting with the

Department of Information Resources.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 51, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Sec. 231.014. PERSONNEL. The director of the Title IV-D agency

shall provide to the employees of the Title IV-D agency, as often

as necessary, information regarding the requirements for

employment under this title, including information regarding a

person’s responsibilities under applicable laws relating to

standards of conduct for state employees.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 51, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Sec. 231.015. INSURANCE REPORTING PROGRAM. (a) In consultation

with the Texas Department of Insurance and representatives of the

insurance industry in this state, including insurance trade

associations, the Title IV-D agency by rule shall operate a

program to improve the enforcement of child support, including

the use of child support liens under Chapter 157. The program

shall provide for procedures, including data matches, under which

insurance companies shall cooperate with the Title IV-D agency in

identifying obligors who owe child support arrearages or who are

subject to liens for child support arrearages to intercept

certain liability insurance settlements or awards for claims in

satisfaction of the arrearage amounts.

(b) An insurance company that provides information or responds

to a notice of child support lien or levy under Subchapter G,

Chapter 157, or acts in good faith to comply with procedures

established by the Title IV-D agency under this section is not

liable for those acts under any law to any person.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 27, eff. June 19, 2009.

SUBCHAPTER B. SERVICES PROVIDED BY TITLE IV-D PROGRAM

Sec. 231.101. TITLE IV-D CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES. (a) The Title

IV-D agency may provide all services required or authorized to be

provided by Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act

(42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.), including:

(1) parent locator services;

(2) paternity determination;

(3) child support and medical support establishment;

(4) review and adjustment of child support orders;

(5) enforcement of child support and medical support orders; and

(6) collection and distribution of child support payments.

(b) At the request of either the obligee or obligor, the Title

IV-D agency shall review a child support order once every three

years and, if appropriate, adjust the support amount to meet the

requirements of the child support guidelines under Chapter 154.

(c) Except as notice is included in the child support order, a

party subject to a support order shall be provided notice not

less than once every three years of the party’s right to request

that the Title IV-D agency review and, if appropriate, adjust the

amount of ordered support.

(d) The Title IV-D agency may review a support order at any time

on a showing of a material and substantial change in

circumstances, taking into consideration the best interests of

the child.

(e) The Title IV-D agency shall distribute a child support

payment received by the agency from an employer within two

working days after the date the agency receives the payment.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 13, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 69, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(22), eff. Sept.

1, 1999.

Sec. 231.102. ELIGIBILITY FOR CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES. The Title

IV-D agency on application or as otherwise authorized by law may

provide services for the benefit of a child without regard to

whether the child has received public assistance.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.103. APPLICATION AND SERVICE FEES. (a) The Title IV-D

agency may:

(1) charge a reasonable application fee;

(2) charge a $25 annual service fee; and

(3) to the extent permitted by federal law, recover costs for

the services provided in a Title IV-D case.

(b) An application fee may not be charged in a case in which the

Title IV-D agency provides services because the family receives

public assistance.

(c) An application fee may not exceed a maximum amount

established by federal law.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 65(3),

eff. September 1, 2007.

(e) The Title IV-D agency may impose and collect a fee as

authorized by federal law for each request for parent locator

services under Section 231.101(a).

(f) The state disbursement unit established and operated by the

Title IV-D agency under Chapter 234 may collect a monthly service

fee of $3 in each case in which support payments are processed

through the unit.

(g) The Title IV-D agency by rule shall establish procedures for

the imposition of fees and recovery of costs authorized under

this section.

(g-1) A fee authorized under this section for providing child

support enforcement services is part of the child support

obligation if the obligor is responsible for the fee, and may be

enforced against the obligor through any method available for the

enforcement of child support, including contempt.

(h) The attorney general child support application and service

fee account is an account in the general revenue fund in the

state treasury. The account consists of all fees and costs

collected under this section. The Title IV-D agency may only use

the money in the account for agency program expenditures.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1262, Sec. 2, 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 48, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 65(3), eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 231.104. ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHT TO SUPPORT. (a) To the

extent authorized by federal law, the approval of an application

for or the receipt of financial assistance as provided by Chapter

31, Human Resources Code, constitutes an assignment to the Title

IV-D agency of any rights to support from any other person that

the applicant or recipient may have personally or for a child for

whom the applicant or recipient is claiming assistance.

(b) An application for child support services is an assignment

of support rights to enable the Title IV-D agency to establish

and enforce child support and medical support obligations, but an

assignment is not a condition of eligibility for services.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 70, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 53, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 14, eff. Sept.

1, 2003.

Sec. 231.105. NOTICE OF CHANGE OF PAYEE. (a) Child support

payments for the benefit of a child whose support rights have

been assigned to the Title IV-D agency under Section 231.104

shall be made payable to the Title IV-D agency and transmitted to

the state disbursement unit as provided by Chapter 234.

(b) If a court has ordered support payments to be made to an

applicant for or recipient of financial assistance or to an

applicant for or recipient of Title IV-D services, the Title IV-D

agency shall, on providing notice to the obligee and the obligor,

direct the obligor or other payor to make support payments

payable to the Title IV-D agency and to transmit the payments to

the state disbursement unit. The Title IV-D agency shall file a

copy of the notice with the court ordering the payments and with

the child support registry. The notice must include:

(1) a statement that the child is an applicant for or recipient

of financial assistance, or a child other than a recipient child

for whom Title IV-D services are provided;

(2) the name of the child and the caretaker for whom support has

been ordered by the court;

(3) the style and cause number of the case in which support was

ordered; and

(4) instructions for the payment of ordered support to the

agency.

(c) On receipt of a copy of the notice under Subsection (b), the

clerk of the court shall file the notice in the appropriate case

file.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 71, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 54, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 231.106. NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF ASSIGNMENT. (a) On

termination of support rights to the Title IV-D agency, the Title

IV-D agency shall, after providing notice to the obligee and the

obligor, send a notice of termination of assignment to the

obligor or other payor, which may direct that all or a portion of

the payments be made payable to the agency and to other persons

who are entitled to receive the payments.

(b) The Title IV-D agency shall send a copy of the notice of

termination of assignment to the court ordering the support and

to the child support registry, and on receipt of the notice the

clerk of the court shall file the notice in the appropriate case

file. The clerk may not require an order of the court to

terminate the assignment and direct support payments to the

person entitled to receive the payment.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 72, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 52, eff. Sept.

1, 1999.

Sec. 231.107. CERTIFICATE OF ASSIGNMENT OR OF TERMINATION OF

ASSIGNMENT. If an abstract of judgment or a child support lien

on support amounts assigned to the Title IV-D agency under this

chapter has previously been filed of record, the agency shall

file for recordation, with the county clerk of each county in

which such abstract or lien has been filed, a certificate that a

notice of change of payee or a notice of termination of

assignment has been issued by the agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 73, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 231.108. CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS AND PRIVILEGED

COMMUNICATIONS. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), all

files and records of services provided under this chapter,

including information concerning a custodial parent, noncustodial

parent, child, and an alleged or presumed father, are

confidential.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), all communications

made by a recipient of financial assistance under Chapter 31,

Human Resources Code, or an applicant for or recipient of

services under this chapter are privileged.

(c) The Title IV-D agency may use or release information from

the files and records, including information that results from a

communication made by a recipient of financial assistance under

Chapter 31, Human Resources Code, or by an applicant for or

recipient of services under this chapter, for purposes directly

connected with the administration of the child support, paternity

determination, parent locator, or aid to families with dependent

children programs. The Title IV-D agency may release information

from the files and records to a consumer reporting agency in

accordance with Section 231.114.

(d) The Title IV-D agency by rule may provide for the release of

information to public officials.

(e) The Title IV-D agency may not release information on the

physical location of a person if:

(1) a protective order has been entered with respect to the

person; or

(2) there is reason to believe that the release of information

may result in physical or emotional harm to the person.

(f) The Title IV-D agency, by rule, may provide for the release

of information to persons for purposes not prohibited by federal

law.

(g) The final order in a suit adjudicating parentage is

available for public inspection as provided by Section 160.633.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.08, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 74, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 53, eff. Sept. 1,

1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 231.109. ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING STATE. (a) Attorneys

employed by the Title IV-D agency may represent this state or

another state in an action brought under the authority of federal

law or this chapter.

(b) The Title IV-D agency may contract with private attorneys,

other private entities, or political subdivisions of the state to

provide services in Title IV-D cases.

(c) The Title IV-D agency shall provide copies of all contracts

entered into under this section to the Legislative Budget Board

and the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning, along with a

written justification of the need for each contract, within 60

days after the execution of the contract.

(d) An attorney employed to provide Title IV-D services

represents the interest of the state and not the interest of any

other party. The provision of services by an attorney under this

chapter does not create an attorney-client relationship between

the attorney and any other party. The agency shall, at the time

an application for child support services is made, inform the

applicant that neither the Title IV-D agency nor any attorney who

provides services under this chapter is the applicant’s attorney

and that the attorney providing services under this chapter does

not provide legal representation to the applicant.

(e) An attorney employed by the Title IV-D agency or as

otherwise provided by this chapter may not be appointed or act as

an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem for a child or another

party.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.02, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

172, Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 231.110. AUTHORIZATION OF SERVICE. The provision of

services by the Title IV-D agency under this chapter or Part D of

Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section

651 et seq.) does not authorize service on the agency of any

legal notice that is required to be served on any party other

than the agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.111. DISQUALIFICATION OF AGENCY. A court shall not

disqualify the Title IV-D agency in a legal action filed under

this chapter or Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security

Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.) on the basis that the agency

has previously provided services to a party whose interests may

now be adverse to the relief requested.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.112. INFORMATION ON PATERNITY ESTABLISHMENT. On

notification by the state registrar under Section 192.005(d),

Health and Safety Code, that the items relating to the child’s

father are not completed on a birth certificate filed with the

state registrar, the Title IV-D agency may provide to:

(1) the child’s mother and, if possible, the man claiming to be

the child’s biological father written information necessary for

the man to complete an acknowledgment of paternity as provided by

Chapter 160; and

(2) the child’s mother written information:

(A) explaining the benefits of having the child’s paternity

established; and

(B) regarding the availability of paternity establishment and

child support enforcement services.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 54, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 231.113. ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS IN PUBLIC

ASSISTANCE CASES. To the extent possible, the Title IV-D agency

shall enforce a child support obligation in a case involving a

child who receives financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human

Resources Code, not later than the first anniversary of the date

the agency receives from the Texas Department of Human Services

the information the department is required to provide to assist

in the enforcement of that obligation.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1,

1995.

Sec. 231.114. REPORTS OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS TO CONSUMER

REPORTING AGENCIES. (a) The Title IV-D agency shall make

information available in accordance with this section to a

consumer reporting agency regarding the amount of child support

owed and the amount paid by an obligor in a Title IV-D case.

(b) Before disclosing the information to consumer reporting

agencies, the Title IV-D agency shall send the obligor a notice

by mail to the obligor’s last known address. The notice must

include:

(1) the information to be released, including the amount of the

obligor’s child support obligation and delinquency, if any, that

will be reported;

(2) the procedure available for the obligor to contest the

accuracy of the information; and

(3) a statement that the information will be released if the

obligor fails to contest the disclosure before the 30th day after

the date of mailing of the notice.

(c) If the obligor does not contest the disclosure within the

period specified by Subsection (b), the Title IV-D agency shall

make the information available to the consumer reporting agency.

(d) The Title IV-D agency shall regularly update the information

released to a consumer reporting agency under this section to

ensure the accuracy of the released information.

(e) The Title IV-D agency may charge a consumer reporting agency

a reasonable fee for making information available under this

section, including all applicable mailing costs.

(f) In this section:

(1) “Consumer reporting agency” means any person that regularly

engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or

evaluating consumer credit information or other information on

consumers for monetary fees, for dues, or on a cooperative

nonprofit basis, to furnish consumer reports to third parties.

(2) “Obligor” means any person required to make payments under

the terms of a support order for a child.

(3) “Title IV-D case” means a case in which services are being

provided by the Title IV-D agency under Part D of Title IV of the

federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.)

seeking to locate an absent parent, determine parentage, or

establish, modify, enforce, or monitor a child support

obligation.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1,

1995.

Sec. 231.115. NONCOOPERATION BY RECIPIENT OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

(a) The failure by a person who is a recipient of public

assistance under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code, to provide

accurate information as required by Section 31.0315, Human

Resources Code, shall serve as the basis for a determination by

the Title IV-D agency that the person did not cooperate with the

Title IV-D agency.

(b) The Title IV-D agency shall:

(1) identify the actions or failures to act by a recipient of

public assistance that constitute noncooperation with the Title

IV-D agency;

(2) adopt rules governing noncompliance; and

(3) send noncompliance determinations to the Texas Department of

Human Services for immediate imposition of sanctions.

(c) In adopting rules under this section that establish the

basis for determining that a person has failed to cooperate with

the Title IV-D agency, the Title IV-D agency shall consider

whether:

(1) good cause exists for the failure to cooperate;

(2) the person has failed to disclose the name and location of

an alleged or probable parent of the child, if known by the

person, at the time of applying for public assistance or at a

subsequent time; and

(3) the person named a man as the alleged father and the man was

subsequently excluded by parentage testing as being the father if

the person has previously named another man as the child’s

father.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 75, eff. Sept. 1,

1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 54, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 231.116. INFORMATION ON INTERNET. The Title IV-D agency

shall place on the Internet for public access child support

information to assist the public in child support matters,

including application forms, child support collection in other

states, and profiles of certain obligors who are in arrears in

paying child support.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 231.1165. INFORMATION ON SERVICE OF CITATION. The Title

IV-D agency shall update the agency’s child support automated

system to inform the parties in a suit of the service of citation

in the suit not later than the first business day after the date

the agency receives notice that citation has been served. The

information required by this section must be available by

telephone and on the Internet.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Sec. 231.117. UNEMPLOYED AND UNDEREMPLOYED OBLIGORS. (a) The

Title IV-D agency shall refer to appropriate state and local

entities that provide employment services any unemployed or

underemployed obligor who is in arrears in court-ordered child

support payments.

(b) A referral under Subsection (a) may include:

(1) skills training and job placement through:

(A) the Texas Workforce Commission; or

(B) the agency responsible for the food stamp employment and

training program (7 U.S.C. Section 2015(d));

(2) referrals to education and literacy classes; and

(3) counseling regarding:

(A) substance abuse;

(B) parenting skills;

(C) life skills; and

(D) mediation techniques.

(c) The Title IV-D agency may require an unemployed or

underemployed obligor to complete the training, classes, or

counseling to which the obligor is referred under this section.

The agency shall suspend under Chapter 232 the license of an

obligor who fails to comply with the requirements of this

subsection.

(d) A court or the Title IV-D agency may issue an order that

requires the parent to either work, have a plan to pay overdue

child support, or participate in work activities appropriate to

pay the overdue support.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.20(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1072, Sec. 5, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 231.115 by Acts 1999, 76th

Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(23), eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Renumbered from

Sec. 231.115 and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec.

54, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 231.118. SERVICE OF CITATION. (a) The Title IV-D agency

may contract with private process servers to serve a citation, a

subpoena, an order, or any other document required or appropriate

under law to be served a party.

(b) For the purposes of Rule 103 of the Texas Rules of Civil

Procedure, a person who serves a citation or any other document

under this section is authorized to serve the document without a

written court order authorizing the service.

(c) Issuance and return of the process shall be made in

accordance with law and shall be verified by the person serving

the document.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Sec. 231.119. OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM. (a) The Title IV-D agency

shall establish an ombudsman program to process and track

complaints against the Title IV-D agency. The director of the

Title IV-D agency shall:

(1) designate an employee to serve as chief ombudsman to manage

the ombudsman program; and

(2) designate an employee in each field office to act as the

ombudsman for the office.

(b) The Title IV-D agency shall develop and implement a uniform

process for receiving and resolving complaints against the Title

IV-D agency throughout the state. The process shall include

statewide procedures to inform the public and recipients of Title

IV-D services of the right to file a complaint against the Title

IV-D agency, including the mailing addresses and telephone

numbers of appropriate Title IV-D agency personnel responsible

for receiving complaints and providing related assistance.

(c) The ombudsman in each field office shall ensure that an

employee in the field office responds to and attempts to resolve

each complaint that is filed with the field office. If a

complaint cannot be resolved at the field office level, the

ombudsman in the field office shall refer the complaint to the

chief ombudsman.

(d) The Title IV-D agency shall maintain a file on each written

complaint filed with the Title IV-D agency. The file must

include:

(1) the name of the person who filed the complaint;

(2) the date the complaint is received by the Title IV-D agency;

(3) the subject matter of the complaint;

(4) the name of each person contacted in relation to the

complaint;

(5) a summary of the results of the review or investigation of

the complaint; and

(6) an explanation of the reason the file was closed, if the

agency closed the file without taking action other than to

investigate the complaint.

(e) The Title IV-D agency, at least quarterly until final

disposition of the complaint, shall notify the person filing the

complaint and each person who is a subject of the complaint of

the status of the investigation of the complaint unless the

notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

(f) The Title IV-D agency shall provide to the person filing the

complaint and to each person who is a subject of the complaint a

copy of the Title IV-D agency’s policies and procedures relating

to complaint investigation and resolution.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Sec. 231.120. TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR EMPLOYERS. The

Title IV-D agency shall maintain a toll-free telephone number at

which personnel are available during normal business hours to

answer questions from employers responsible for withholding child

support. The Title IV-D agency shall inform employers about the

toll-free telephone number.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Sec. 231.121. AVAILABILITY OF BROCHURES. The Title IV-D agency

shall ensure that all Title IV-D brochures published by the

agency are available to the public at courthouses where family

law cases are heard in the state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Sec. 231.122. MONITORING CHILD SUPPORT CASES; ENFORCEMENT. The

Title IV-D agency shall monitor each Title IV-D case from the

date the agency begins providing services on the case. If a

child support obligor in a Title IV-D case becomes more than 60

days delinquent in paying child support, the Title IV-D agency

shall expedite the commencement of an action to enforce the child

support order.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

268, Sec. 1.10, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 231.123. COOPERATION WITH VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE

PROGRAMS. (a) In order to maximize the amount of any tax refund

to which an obligor may be entitled and which may be applied to

child support and medical support obligations, the Title IV-D

agency shall cooperate with volunteer income tax assistance

programs in the state in informing obligors of the availability

of the programs.

(b) The Title IV-D agency shall publicize the services of the

volunteer income tax assistance programs by distributing printed

materials regarding the programs and by placing information

regarding the programs on the agency’s Internet website.

(c) The Title IV-D agency is not responsible for producing or

paying the costs of producing the printed materials distributed

in accordance with Subsection (b).

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

925, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Renumbered from Family Code, Section 231.122 by Acts 2007, 80th

Leg., R.S., Ch.

921, Sec. 17.001(22), eff. September 1, 2007.

SUBCHAPTER C. PAYMENT OF FEES AND COSTS

Sec. 231.201. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1) “Federal share” means the portion of allowable expenses for

fees and other costs that will be reimbursed by the federal

government under federal law and regulations regarding the

administration of the Title IV-D program.

(2) “State share” means the portion of allowable expenses for

fees and other costs that remain after receipt of the federal

share of reimbursement and that is to be reimbursed by the state

or may be contributed by certified public expenditure by a

county.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.202. AUTHORIZED COSTS AND FEES IN TITLE IV-D CASES. In

a Title IV-D case filed under this title, including a case filed

under Chapter 159, the Title IV-D agency shall pay only the

following costs and fees:

(1) filing fees and fees for issuance and service of process as

provided by Chapter 110 of this code and by Sections

51.317(b)(1), (2), and (3) and (b-1), 51.318(b)(2), and

51.319(2), Government Code;

(2) fees for transfer as provided by Chapter 110;

(3) fees for the issuance and delivery of orders and writs of

income withholding in the amounts provided by Chapter 110;

(4) the fee for services provided by sheriffs and constables,

including:

(A) a fee authorized under Section 118.131, Local Government

Code, for serving each item of process to each individual on whom

service is required, including service by certified or registered

mail; and

(B) a fee authorized under Section 157.103(b) for serving a

capias;

(5) the fee for filing an administrative writ of withholding

under Section 158.503(d);

(6) the fee for issuance of a subpoena as provided by Section

51.318(b)(1), Government Code; and

(7) a fee authorized under a local rule for the electronic

filing of documents with a clerk.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.04, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.21(a), eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 116, Sec. 2, eff. Sept.

1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1217, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

972, Sec. 49, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

767, Sec. 28, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 231.2025. CONTINGENCY FEES. The Title IV-D agency may pay

a contingency fee in a contract or agreement between the agency

and a private agency or individual authorized under Section

231.002(c).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 231.203. STATE EXEMPTION FROM BOND NOT AFFECTED. This

subchapter does not affect, nor is this subchapter affected by,

the exemption from bond provided by Section 6.001, Civil Practice

and Remedies Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.204. PROHIBITED FEES IN TITLE IV-D CASES. Except as

provided by this subchapter, an appellate court, a clerk of an

appellate court, a district or county clerk, sheriff, constable,

or other government officer or employee may not charge the Title

IV-D agency or a private attorney or political subdivision that

has entered into a contract to provide Title IV-D services any

fees or other amounts otherwise imposed by law for services

rendered in, or in connection with, a Title IV-D case, including:

(1) a fee payable to a district clerk for:

(A) performing services related to the estates of deceased

persons or minors;

(B) certifying copies; or

(C) comparing copies to originals;

(2) a court reporter fee, except as provided by Section 231.209;

(3) a judicial fund fee;

(4) a fee for a child support registry, enforcement office, or

domestic relations office;

(5) a fee for alternative dispute resolution services; and

(6) a filing fee or other costs payable to a clerk of an

appellate court.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 55, eff.

Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 55, eff.

Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 231.205. LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY OF ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR

AUTHORIZED FEES AND COSTS. (a) The Title IV-D agency is liable

for a fee or cost under this subchapter only to the extent that

an express, specific appropriation is made to the agency

exclusively for that purpose. To the extent that state funds are

not available, the amount of costs and fees that are not

reimbursed by the federal government and that represent the state

share shall be paid by certified public expenditure by the county

through the clerk of the court, sheriff, or constable. This

section does not prohibit the agency from spending other funds

appropriated for child support enforcement to provide the initial

expenditures necessary to qualify for the federal share.

(b) The Title IV-D agency is liable for the payment of the

federal share of reimbursement for fees and costs under this

subchapter only to the extent that the federal share is received,

and if an amount is paid by the agency and that amount is

disallowed by the federal government or the federal share is not

otherwise received, the clerk of the court, sheriff, or constable

to whom the payment was made shall return the amount to the

agency not later than the 30th day after the date on which notice

is given by the agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.206. RESTRICTION ON FEES FOR CHILD SUPPORT OR REGISTRY

SERVICES IN TITLE IV-D CASES. A district clerk, a county child

support registry or enforcement office, or a domestic relations

office may not assess or collect fees for processing child

support payments or for child support services from the Title

IV-D agency, a managing conservator, or a possessory conservator

in a Title IV-D case, except as provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.207. METHOD OF BILLING FOR ALLOWABLE FEES. (a) To be

entitled to reimbursement under this subchapter, the clerk of the

court, sheriff, or constable must submit one monthly billing to

the Title IV-D agency.

(b) The monthly billing must be in the form and manner

prescribed by the Title IV-D agency and be approved by the clerk,

sheriff, or constable.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.208. AGREEMENTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN LIEU OF FEES. (a)

The Title IV-D agency and a qualified county may enter into a

written agreement under which reimbursement for salaries and

certain other actual costs incurred by the clerk, sheriff, or

constable in Title IV-D cases is provided to the county.

(b) A county may not enter into an agreement for reimbursement

under this section unless the clerk, sheriff, or constable

providing service has at least two full-time employees each

devoted exclusively to providing services in Title IV-D cases.

(c) Reimbursement made under this section is in lieu of all

costs and fees provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.209. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES NOT AFFECTED BY THIS

SUBCHAPTER. Without regard to this subchapter and specifically

Section 231.205, the Title IV-D agency may pay the costs for:

(1) the services of an official court reporter for the

preparation of statements of facts;

(2) the costs for the publication of citation served by

publication; and

(3) mileage or other reasonable travel costs incurred by a

sheriff or constable when traveling out of the county to execute

an outstanding warrant or capias, to be reimbursed at a rate not

to exceed the rate provided for mileage or other costs incurred

by state employees in the General Appropriations Act.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 1.05, eff.

Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 231.210. AUTHORITY TO PAY LITIGATION EXPENSES. (a) The

Title IV-D agency may pay all fees, expenses, costs, and bills

necessary to secure evidence and to take the testimony of a

witness, including advance payments or purchases for

transportation, lodging, meals, and incidental expenses of

custodians of evidence or witnesses whose transportation is

necessary and proper for the production of evidence or the taking

of testimony in a Title IV-D case.

(b) In making payments under this section, the Title IV-D agency

shall present vouchers to the comptroller that have been sworn to

by the custodian or witness and approved by the agency. The

voucher shall be sufficient to authorize payment without the

necessity of a written contract.

(c) The Title IV-D agency may directly pay a commercial

transportation company or commercial lodging establishment for

the expense of transportation or lodging of a custodian or

witness.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20,

1995.

Sec. 231.211. AWARD OF COST AGAINST NONPREVAILING PARTY IN TITLE

IV-D CASE. (a) At the conclusion of a Title IV-D case, the

court may assess attorney’s fees and all court costs as

authorized by law against the nonprevailing party, except that

the court may not assess those amounts against the Title IV-D

agency or a private attorney or political subdivision that has

entered into a contract under this chapter or any party to whom

the agen