Fathers in Texas have an important support system in place thanks largely to the Office of the Attorney General and the state's Child Support Division. Many programs and valuable guides have been created thanks to these agencies and, without them, many children would likely go without the emotional and financial support provided by their fathers.
According to the Attorney General, the Child Support Division collected more than $3 billion in child support last year. This is a large sum of money and it surely helped with the raising of many children. Reportedly, a considerable portion of the payments collected came from fathers - for this, the Attorney General has called fathers the unsung heroes in the lives of their children.
Some of the programs that are provided to fathers include the Paternity Opportunity Program which allows unmarried fathers to establish paternity for a child at the time of birth. This program would not be possible without training provided by the Office of the Attorney General which allows medical professionals to become certified in assisting parents with the Acknowledgement of Paternity process. The program allowed 124,000 children in the state last year to have a legal father from the beginning.
Another program geared towards fathers is called the Parenting and Paternity Awareness program. This is an educational curriculum designed for young adults and secondary school students that focuses on the responsibilities, realities, and rights of parenthood. Topics addressed in the curriculum include the value of paternity establishment, the importance of father involvement, the realities of child support, relationship violence prevention, healthy relationship skills and the emotional challenges of single parenting.
Governmental agencies have also created a publication for new fathers called "Maps for New Dads: Handbook for Expectant and New Fathers". This tells expecting fathers what to prepare for as the birth of their child comes closer. Other publications include informative guides to parenting together.
Although CPS and the AOG offer support services, there are times when a father going through a divorce or paternity issue may need an experienced family law attorney to help them navigate the system and ensure their rights as a parent are protected. An attorney can be invaluable in working on behalf of a father to ensure his child support payments actually benefit his kids and his custody and visitation rights remains a priority with Texas family courts.
Source: Texas Insider, "Happy Fathers Day!," Greg Abbott, June 13, 2012