This is the "Pro Se Resources" page of the "Child Custody and Support" guide.
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This is a guide to laws, books and other resources covering child support and child custody.
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research from Home

If you have a TexLaw ID, you can check out an OverDrive eBook title or access our remote databases. Don't have a TexLaw ID? Texas residents can register for a TexLaw ID from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below are some eBook titles that may help you with your research on child custody and support.

Cover Art
Representing the child client - Mark I. Soler
Call Number: KF 9779 R46 1987
Publication Date: 2014
Soler's resource provides counsel who represent youth with a detailed overview of children's rights and the statutory and case law relating to legal matters involving children. Topics range from school disciplinary matters to child witnesses and even health-care for low-income children.

Cover Art
Texas family law practice and procedure - Matthew Bender
Call Number: KFT 505 F35 1997
Publication Date: 2014
Texas Family Law for the practitioner, covering Conservatorship and Guardianship, premarital agreements, divorce, custody issues, spousal support, grounds, and valuing community assets. Includes sample petitions and motions, including initial attorney-client documents, as well as references to the most current State Bar CLE materials, legal periodicals, and ALR Annotations.


Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

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Child custody, visitation and support in Texas - Traci Truly
Call Number: REF DESK KFT 547 T7
ISBN: 9781572486560
Publication Date: 2008
A self-help child custody guide written in everyday language. It includes ready-to-use forms with step-by-step instructions. It provides a brief overview of child custody issues and how to research the law.

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O'Connor's Texas family law handbook - Joan Foote Jenkins and Randall B. Wilhite
Call Number: KFT 505 O26
ISBN: 9781598391794
Publication Date: Annual
This book contains a subchapter titled "Suit for Termination." Arranged in outline form, this section provides details on the process from start to finish, including the contents of the petition.

About This Guide

This research guide is intended to help you locate accurate legal information about child custody, support, and visitation in Texas. The information on this page is geared toward pro se and self-represented litigants who wish to take care of things without an attorney.

Click on the "Practice Aids" tab to access a list of practice aids geared towards attorneys (but also useful for self-represented litigants) that are available at the library.

Texas and Federal Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Family Code that govern child support, custody and visitation. You will also find references to areas of federal law that govern parental kidnapping and child support.

If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the "plain English" resources listed on this page, visit a law library to access other self-help publications, or speak to an attorney.

  • Texas Family Code, Title 5
    Chapters 101 through 266 of the Family Code govern issues that affect the parent-child relationship, including child custody (referred to as "conservatorship"), child support, modification and enforcement.
  • 28 USC 1738A et seq.
    This federal legislation, known as the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, governs issues relating to parental kidnappings.
  • 42 USC 651 et seq.
    Enacted as Title IV, Part D of the Social Security Act, this federal legislation, known as the Federal Child Support Enforcement Act, deals with child support and establishment of paternity.
  • 18 USC 228
    This federal legislation, known as the Federal Child Support Recovery Act, deals with the recovery of child support payments.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

  • Child Support Calculator
    Use this tool from the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division, to estimate your monthly child support contribution.
  • Frequently Asked Questions, Child Support
    This informative page from the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division, covers a range of issues related to custody and support. Topics include: agency services, paternity, minor parents, enforcement, license suspension, custody and visitation, mistaken paternity, private collection agencies, community services and volunteer program, and child support fees.
  • Texas Access
    This informative website provided by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas is aimed towards non-custodial parents. It provides common questions and answers, basic forms, and explanations of many common issues associated with visitation and support. This site also provides information about obtaining a lawyer and a hotline for brief legal information.
  • Texas Law Help--Family Law Topics
    This site links to several Q & As and other information about child custody and support.
  • What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court [PDF]
    This is a guide, provided by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, on family law court proceedings. It provides a close look at the legal process for those unfamiliar with court proceedings in an effort to make the experience less difficult.


These forms are provided by organziations as a courtesy and are not a substitute for legal advice. 

  • Modification Kit
    This form kit from Texas Law Help provides documents to assist in modifying existing court orders for child custody and support. Please refer to the LiveHelp chat feature on the right side of their home page for assistance with using these forms.
  • Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR)
    These documents from Texas Law Help establish child custody, visitation, and support orders for parents who are not divorcing or involved in a paternity suit. There are forms available for both agreed and contested cases. Please refer to the LiveHelp chat feature on the right side of their home page for assistance with using these forms.
  • Texas Access, Legal Forms
    These forms, provided by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, may be useful for non-custodial parents. Included are basic affidavits, motions, and a demand letter for visitation. Please contact their legal hotline for assistance with these forms.

Who Can I Contact?

  • Access and Visitation Hotline
    This toll-free hotline, provided by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, provides provides basic legal information, education and resources to non-custodial parents throughout Texas. The attorneys on this hotline cannot provide legal representation but can provide referrals and brief information.
  • Office of the Attorney General--Child Support Division
    "As the official child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas, the Office of the Attorney General provides services for parents who wish to obtain or provide support for their children." --website
  • Travis County Reference Attorney
    If you are filing on the uncontested docket (meaning both parties agree) in Travis County, the reference attorney is available to review forms and assist with the process. The reference attorney cannot represent either party.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

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