Custodial Party

The custodial party in a child support case is the person who is responsible for the day-to-day care of the children and has physical custody of them. The custodial party can be a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker. 

Custodial parties who have an open enforcement case with OCSE are responsible for:

  • Responding to all requests for information, appearing for interviews and court hearings, and submitting your child to paternity testing, if necessary.  
  • Giving OCSE any information that they can about the noncustodial parent. 
  • Notifying the local child support office of any changes in their status, such as name, address, custody of child, and the desire for continued services. Note:  Information updates are quick and easy through OCSE MyCase.
  • Cooperating with OCSE. The failure of custodial parties to cooperate who are required to cooperate with OCSE because they receive Medicaid, SNAP, or TEA could result in a loss of benefits.  
  • Staying involved in the case. A team effort produces the best results. 

Victims of Family Violence – OCSE takes very seriously protecting the information of its customers. If a custodial party, noncustodial parent, or a child on a case is a victim of domestic or child abuse, or if any party feels threatened, he or she should immediately provide that information to OCSE. OCSE will note in the case record that Family Violence is a factor.  

Things to Know

  • Have your case number ready when you call. If you don't know your case number, we'll have to ask you questions to determine your identity.  
  • OCSE does not represent the custodial party – OCSE represents the State's interest in seeing that the children are financially cared for.  
  • Understand the consequences of signing a legal document before you sign. Once a legal document is signed and filed, it is very difficult (sometimes impossible) to change, and it is almost always costly. 
  • If you do not cooperate with OCSE (for example, provide information or respond when requested), OCSE may close your case. Or, if you receive benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP, or TEA, your benefits may be reduced.
  • If you choose to hire an attorney, OCSE will only discuss your case with your attorney. Once you no longer employ an attorney, we will resume discussing your case with you. 
  • If you want to know if a payment was made to you and when, you can log into your OCSE MyCase account, or call the automated 24-hour line: 800-264-2445.