ACCESS AND Texas Attorney General

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					                                                                                                                                           POINTS TO REMEMBER
                         ACCESS AND VISITATION
                         HOTLINE HELPS TEXAS PARENTS                                                                                                ACCESS AND
                         ADDRESS VISITATION CONCERNS                                                                                                VISITATION
                         by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
CHILDREN THRIVE ON THE SECURITY THAT           represent callers or offer legal advice    who receive or have received public
comes from knowing both parents                — only legal information.                  assistance. Services include locating        •   The Access and Visitation Hotline’s
love and care for them. That is why              Parents also can visit www.txaccess.     absent parents; establishing paternity
                                                                                                                                           toll free number, (866) 292-4636,
the Office of the Attorney General              org to obtain downloadable legal forms     for children born to unmarried parents;
is committed to helping parents stay           and examples for completing them.          establishing, enforcing and modifying
                                                                                                                                           is answered in English and Spanish,
involved in their children’s lives.            Also available are samples of parent       child and medical support orders;                Monday – Friday from 1 to 7 p.m.
  The Attorney General’s Office often           letters to request compliance with         and collecting and distributing child
                                                                                                                                       •   Visit to obtain
receives inquiries from frustrated parents     orders, visitation logs, and other tools   support payments.
wanting to know how to handle custody          for resolving custody and visitation         The Office of the Attorney General
                                                                                                                                           downloadable legal forms and
or visitation disputes. This is particularly   concerns.                                  does not handle custody or visitation            directions for completing them.
problematic for parents who do not have          Studies show that noncustodial           disputes. The child support program
                                                                                                                                       •   Although federal regulations do not
legal custody of their children. Most          parents who stay involved with their       receives significant federal funding for
of the time, parents without custody           children are more likely to make regular   child support activities. Under federal
                                                                                                                                           allow the Office of the Attorney
say the other parent won’t let them see        child support payments. According to a     law, the Attorney General’s federal              General to use child support
their child. Sometimes the parent with         national report, unmarried parents who     funding cannot be used for custody               funding for legal services about
custody says their child does not want to      receive Access and Visitation services     and visitation related matters.                  custody or visitation disputes, the
go for visits.                                 pay an average of 33 percent more of         However, the Attorney General’s                OAG does receive limited special
  To help Texas families who find               the child support they owe than do         Office can award grants to Legal                  funding to provide assistance in
themselves in these painful situations,        those who don’t receive Access and         Aid of NorthWest Texas and other                 these matters.
the Office of the Attorney General              Visitation services. Studies also show     groups that seek to increase contact
awarded a grant to Legal Aid of North          that children whose parents pay their      between noncustodial parents and their
West Texas, which operates a statewide         child support have fewer behavioral        children. By sharing grants with local
Access and Visitation Hotline.                 problems, make better grades and stay      organizations, the Attorney General’s        Information on this and other topics
  The hotline is staffed by attorneys          in school longer than children who         Office can help Texas children whose          is available on the Attorney General’s
who provide legal information and              do not receive regular child support.      parents are engaged in custody or            Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.
assistance about child custody, along          And child support collections benefit       visitation disputes.                         gov.
with information about visitation,             taxpayers too. The money that parents        The Office of the Attorney General
paternity and child support matters.           pay to support their kids is money that    appreciates parents who work together
The hotline’s toll free number, (866)          taxpayers aren’t spending to provide       to care for their children. It is critical
292-4636, is available Monday through          services for those children.               to a child’s well-being that they know
Friday from 1 to 7 p.m.                          Under state and federal law, the Office   and have a relationship with both
  Hotline attorneys provide basic              of the Attorney General is charged with    parents.
legal information and education about          collecting child support for families        For parents who are experiencing
establishing paternity, the child support      who request assistance. The law            custody or visitation problems, the
process, and a parent’s legal authority        requires the Attorney General’s Office      Access and Visitation Hotline is a
to see their child. Attorneys cannot           to collect child support for families      great resource.

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