Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Friday, June 15, 2001


Attorney General says Father's Day is important for noncustodial fathers

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today praised the fathers of Texas for their dedication to their children including noncustodial fathers who pay child support. Ninety percent of the Office of the Attorney General's child support cases involve noncustodial fathers ordered to pay support to custodial mothers. In three percent of cases, noncustodial mothers are ordered to pay support to custodial fathers. Seven percent of the cases involve children living with another relative or in foster care with both parents ordered to pay child support.

"Many fathers and mothers involved in child support cases deserve a pat on the back for setting aside their differences and working together to provide for their children," Attorney General Cornyn said. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) handles 1.1 million child support cases involving 1.7 million children.

In the last two years, collections by the Attorney General's Child Support Division have increased from $757 million in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 1998 to $1.029 billion in SFY 2000 - a 36 percent increase in only two years. The $161 million increase from SFY 1999 to SFY 2000 is the largest dollar increase in collections in the history of the Texas program. The OAG expects to have another record setting year in SFY 2001 ending August 31.

"We want to work with noncustodial parents who want to do the right thing for their children, but might need some help. So we have developed innovative programs to help poor noncustodial parents be better providers for their children," Attorney General Cornyn said.

A noncustodial parent's failure to pay may be due to reasons other than hard-hearted neglect of a child. Many noncustodial parents are struggling to feed themselves. Sixty-two percent of noncustodial parents earn less than $20,000 per year. Non-custodial parents wanting to support their children, but without the means to do so, are referred to employment programs run by the Texas Workforce Commission and counseling and support groups provided by the Texas Fragile Families Initiative and other community organizations. The OAG also distributes $625,000 in federal funding annually to local government and community-based organizations providing noncustodial parents with services to increase access and visitation with their children.

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