The AG Court
I appear fairly regularly in AG court cases. The AG court is more properly called the Title IV-D Master’s Court, referring to a provision in the Texas Family Code. Regardless, you can also think of it as the child support court because that’s what usually goes on there.
There is only one way for a case to go to the AG court – the Attorney General of Texas Child Support Division files a pleading there. That pleading may be an original petition to establish paternity and child support or it could be a filing for modification or enforcement of child support. The AG is represented by an assistant attorney general and the parties (typically Mom and Dad) have the right to be represented by their own attorneys. The first thing the assistant attorney general will tell the parties is that he or she represents the State of Texas and not an individual party.
If you are served with pleadings from the Texas Attorney General you have certain deadlines that begin to run at the time you are served. The first is a 10 day deadline. If you do not want your case heard in the AG court you must object to that within 10 days after you are served. There are a number of reasons, depending on the type of case, that a client would be better served by not having their case in the AG court. The second deadline is the answer date which is on the Monday after 20 days after you are served. That is the time within which you must file your formal answer to avoid a default judgment.
If you are served with papers from the Attorney General, do not delay. Call a lawyer and get in to discuss your case.