Video Highlights

What is a Child Support Review Process negotiation conference, or CSRP meeting. It is is a type of conference meeting at a Texas Attorney General child support field office where parents are invited to come discuss their differences and try to reach an agreed custody order over their child. CSRPs are done throughout the state of Texas and completed by trained staff known as child support officers, or CSOs.  While CSRPs are kind of like mediation, they are not true mediations where a mediator has wide latitude to discuss a broad range of solutions for the parent’s disagreements. There won’t be too much customization in a traditional CSRP order done through the Attorney General's office. The CSOs goal is to establish or modify a standard child support order that moves monies from a noncustodial parent to a custodial parent efficiently. Sometimes CSRP negotiation conferences are used to create a court order for the first time. Other csrp conferences are used to modify an existing court order or to resolve some other issue between the parents without having to go to court. But csrp conferences never include enforcement, like placing someone in jail for not following a court order, that is reserved for the courthouse. The csrp process to establish a brand new child support order typically works like this, once a case is open with the Office of the Attorney General of Texas child support division, or when a case is referred to be open on behalf of a party receiving government assistance, the Attorney General's office will mail the parties a Child Support Review Process Notice letter. If both parents show up to the meeting, the parents meet with the case officer and are read a Statement of Rights, which includes an explanation that each party has the right to have an attorney present at the meeting, and that each party understands the conference could result in a finalized agreed order, result in no order, or result in a non-agreed order to be approved by the court. If the parties elect to do an agreed establishment order, they will typically discuss five things with the child support officer, 1. conservatorship, meaning which parent will have primary custody of a child and be declared the custodial parent, 2 possession, meaning what kind of possession schedule will the non-custodial parent have, 3, support, or how much money in child support will the non-custodial parent pay the custodial parent each month, 4 how will health insurance be provided for the child, and 5 how much money, if any, in retroactive back child support will need to be paid back to the custodial parent? If the parents agree in the office to everything, the order is sent to the judge for signature and the case is over. If the parents cannot agree in the child support office, then there may be no order and the case is reset for trial before the judge or lastly, a nonagreed order may be completed by the CSO to be approved by the judge. When i worked with some of these office I saw many successful csrp conferences, some where parents had their own lawyer present at the conference and some where the parents were pro se and represented themselves. Regarding this topic of attorneys, keep in mind the Office of the Attorney General of Texas represents only the state of Texas at these conferences and not any particular parent or child, that's why each parent can bring in their own legal counsel. CSRP negotiation conferences are free for customers of the Attorney General's child support division and so these conferences save agreeable parents time and money in court. But not every case is agreeable, and even if the parents do agree, csrp-type standard orders may not always include parents’ customized agreed solutions for their child. So going straight to court or attending private mediation may sometimes be more appropriate solutions in some situations.