Those who work for the DCSO are required to pass a state exam in order to become an administrative hearing officer.
Candidates for this position must have a bachelor's degree and must complete 40 hours of training at the State Office of Child Support before sitting for the exam.
Certified hearing officers have the legal authority to collect delinquent child support payments from fathers and mothers.
They can also require fathers paying child support to provide medical care, clothing, food and living arrangements for their children.
Additionally, appointed account representatives can freeze bank accounts and other assets belonging to delinquent parents so that they can be taxed and eventually forfeited to the State Treasury.
The Division of Child Support Office of Appeals is a branch of the Texas Department of Human Resources.
The office maintains a backlog of cases in their court system; they also enforce child support guidelines decreed by the Texas Family Code.
The staff at the DCSO has the legal authority to ensure that non-custodial parents pay their child support obligations.
They have the capacity to collect unpaid child support from delinquent fathers and distribute collected money to the State Treasury.
In addition, staff members at the DCSO can issue protective orders for alleged child abusers and enjoin them from having contact with children.
Delinquent fathers owe significant amounts of child support money back to needy children.
Failure to pay these payments causes major disruption to children's lives as well as financial hardship on behalf of mothers stuck paying these expenses.
Child support enforcement agencies like the DCSO help ensure that children receive necessary financial support from parents who refuse to fulfill their duties towards them.
Since there are many cases that need to be addressed by the DCSO, staffers must follow strict guidelines when conducting hearings.
All hearings must start with a citation-style presentation by staff attorneys before proceeding to questions from the assigned judge or commissioners.
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After this, witnesses may present statements or evidence in support of their statements before ending their statements with questions posed by the hearing officer.
The hearing ends once all parties have had an opportunity to express their opinions on the subject at hand or submit evidence supporting their positions.
After all arguments have been presented, it is up to the hearing officer to render a decision that all parties can agree with.