152 non-custodial parents from five counties in the Southern area of Texas have been arrested for ignoring court orders to pay child support. Sheriffs and their deputies from Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, and Willacy made to arrests pursuant to court issued arrest warrants. Those arrested could be sanctioned by as much as six months of incarceration. In instances where the arrestees managed to post bonds to be released, the funds paid will be turned over to be applied to back child support owed.
Collecting back child support that remains unpaid is a serious family law issue. Such arrests for contempt of court are usually close to a last resort for collection. When a non-custodial parent does not pay, it is also possible to go to court to seek wage garnishment or bank account garnishment orders. Family law attorneys can help guide custodial parents as to what types of collection efforts may prove fruitful.
Sometimes, of course, a parent might not pay child support due because of economic difficulties stemming from such factors beyond their control as job loss, reduction in pay or hours, accidental injury, or serious illness or disability. In such instances, they should consider the possibility of going to court and seeking a modification of the support order by explaining the circumstances. The worst thing someone could do is to do nothing and offer no explanation.
Of those arrested, nine were from Willacy County, 11 from Webb County, 20 from Starr County, 38 from Cameron County, and the largest number, 74, from Hidalgo County. In the fiscal year that concluded at the end of August, the Texas Attorney General collected in excess of $3.6 billion in child support, with $107 million of it coming from these five counties.
Source: KVEO.com, “Local authorities conduct child support warrant roundup resulting in 152 arrests” No author given, Nov. 26, 2013