(a) The administering entity may authorize a domestic relations office to assess and collect:
(1) an initial operations fee not to exceed $15 to be paid to the domestic relations office on each filing of an original suit, motion for modification, or motion for enforcement;
(2) in a county that has a child support enforcement cooperative agreement with the Title IV-D agency, an initial child support service fee not to exceed $36 to be paid to the domestic relations office on the filing of an original suit;
(3) a reasonable application fee to be paid by an applicant requesting services from the office;
(4) a reasonable attorney’s fee and court costs incurred or ordered by the court;
(5) a monthly service fee not to exceed $3 to be paid annually in advance by a managing conservator and possessory conservator for whom the domestic relations office provides child support services;
(6) community supervision fees as provided by Chapter 157 if community supervision officers are employed by the domestic relations office;
(7) a reasonable fee for preparation of a court-ordered child custody evaluation or adoption evaluation;
(8) in a county that provides visitation services under Sections 153.014 and 203.004 a reasonable fee to be paid to the domestic relations office at the time the visitation services are provided;
(9) a fee to reimburse the domestic relations office for a fee required to be paid under Section 158.503(d) for filing an administrative writ of withholding;
(10) a reasonable fee for parenting coordinator services; and
(11) a reasonable fee for alternative dispute resolution services.
(b) The first payment of a fee under Subsection (a)(5) is due on the date that the person required to pay support is ordered to begin child support, alimony, or separate maintenance payments. Subsequent payments of the fee are due annually and in advance.
Terms Used In Texas Family Code 203.005
- Justice: when applied to a magistrate, means justice of the peace. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- Person: includes corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
(c) The director of a domestic relations office shall attempt to collect all fees in an efficient manner.
(d) The administering entity may provide for an exemption from the payment of a fee authorized under this section if payment of the fee is not practical or in the interest of justice. Fees that may be exempted under this subsection include fees related to:
(1) spousal and child support payments made under an interstate pact;
(2) a suit brought by the Texas Department of Human Services;
(3) activities performed by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services or another governmental agency, a private adoption agency, or a charitable organization; and
(4) services for a person who has applied for or who receives public assistance under the laws of this state.
(e) A fee authorized by this section for providing child support services is part of the child support obligation and may be enforced against both an obligor and obligee by any method available for the enforcement of child support, including contempt.