September 2014 | Elaine Sorensen and Tess Tannehill, Urban Institute

Preventing Child Support Arrears in Texas by Improving Front-end Processes

In 2003, the Texas Office of Attorney General fundamentally altered the process of establishing child support orders, going from a highly judicial process of establishing orders to a process that establishes most orders administratively. It also substantially improved the issuance of income withholding orders. This report describes the implementation of these reforms and measures their impact. It finds that, after the reforms were implemented, the amount of time it takes to establish child support orders and income withholding orders on newly opened cases declined significantly and the amount of arrears assessed on newly established orders declined significantly, suggesting a highly successful initiative.

Preventing Child Support Arrears in Texas by Improving Front-end Processes.pdf

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