ETX authorities roundup "deadbeat" parents

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 5:43pm

Harrison County Sheriff Tom McCool and Marshall Police Chief Stan Spence have arrested 11 Harrison County parents who failed to pay their court-ordered child support. The seven-day sweep, which began Friday, focused on parents who were the subjects of arrest warrants because of their failure to pay child support.

“Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “By collecting child support, we are ensuring young Texans have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. We are grateful to Sheriff McCool and Police Chief Stan Spence for their commitment to Texas children.”

This week’s sweep targeted parents who are wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. After holding a Friday evening briefing, teams of law enforcement officers were dispatched to locate and arrest the noncompliant parents. Child Support Division investigators supported the effort by providing logistical assistance to locate unsuspecting parents.

Delinquent parents arrested on civil warrants face up to six months in jail. Cash bonds posted by delinquent parents seeking release from jail are paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support.

To avoid the embarrassment of arrest at home or work, parents with child support warrants should contact the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office. Parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments – but are not subject to warrants for their arrest – should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Child Support Division at (800) 252-8014 to make payment arrangements.

Under state and federal law, the Office of the Attorney General can assist families who request child support services and must serve families who currently receive or have received public assistance. Services offered by the Child Support Division include locating absent parents; establishing paternity for children born to unmarried parents; establishing, enforcing, and modifying child and medical support orders; and collecting and distributing child support payments.

Statewide, child support collected by the Office of the Attorney General exceeded $3.4 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2012. Harrison County parents paid $10.7 million of that amount.

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