The Office of the Attorney General has broad powers to file a child support action. These powers include filing a new case, filing a suit for modification, or a suit for enforcement. However, as we’ve discussed before, there are special provisions when child support for adult disabled children is the issue.
In a recent case the Attorney General filed a suit to modify the child support obligation of a Harris County father for the benefit of his two disabled children who were each no longer under the age of 18. The father’s child support attorney reviewed the law and challenged the authority of the Attorney General to file the child support modification lawsuit.
The Texas Family Code specifically outlines which individuals have the authority to file a lawsuit for child support for adult disabled children. These individuals are:
- a parent of the child or another person having physical custody or guardianship of the child under a court order; or
- the child if the child: (a) is 18 years of age or older; (b) does not have a mental disability; and (c) is determined by the court to be capable of managing the child’s financial affairs.
The statute does not mention the Attorney General and after careful consideration the court found that the Attorney General does not have inherent authority to file a lawsuit concerning child support for an adult disabled child. The outcome may have been different if an individual who did have proper authority assigned their rights to the Attorney General.
This case is an important reminder that the Attorney General makes mistakes and even they are not above the law. If you want something done right then consider an experienced child support lawyer. Contact us today at (832) 592-7913 if you need legal help with your Montgomery County child support case.
If you would like additional information, check out our free Woodlands Divorce Guide.