Acknowledgment of Paternity
The Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) is a legal form that parents who are not married to each other use to establish paternity. Paternity means legal fatherhood. When both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity and it is filed with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit, the biological father becomes the legal father. Once the biological father becomes the legal father, he has all the rights and duties of a parent, including his name being placed on the birth certificate. Signing the AOP is voluntary. Parents who would like to establish paternity for their child using the AOP must seek the assistance of an AOP certified entity, which may be found at a local hospital or a local child support office.
An answer is your written response to the legal petition or lawsuit filed against you. The judge may be able to grant an order, even if one party does not show up, provided specific legal requirements have been met. Notice requirements can vary if there has been no answer and a default judgment is likely. For more information, visit TexasLawHelp.org – Civil Answer and Information Sheet.
Child support arrearages build up any time child support is not paid in full. When child support has been ordered but not paid, the amount owed is called arrears. It may include any unpaid retroactive judgment. Although the interest on child support arrears has varied over time and varies by state, since January 2002, a 6 percent interest rate has been charged on Texas child support arrears.
Attorney General (OAG)
See website for the Office of the Attorney General of Texas at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.