When a court orders child support payments, the court is protecting the best interests of the child or children. These payments help provide resources for children's necessities, as well as educational expense and some extracurricular expenses as well. But as any Dallas child support lawyer knows, some parents who are ordered to pay child support forget these purposes of child support, and fail to make payments to the custodial parent.
Recently, several Texas law enforcement agencies arrested 51 Dallas County parents who had violated court orders requiring child support payments. The Texas Attorney General's Office, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department and four Constable Offices in Dallas County participated in this joint initiative. The parents who were arrested could get up to six months in jail. The custodial parents who are owed back payments of child support will receive any money that the arrested individuals pay toward cash bonds.
When a non-custodial parent falls behind in child support payments, the custodial parent has several options. In most states, the district attorney can help custodial parents by serving papers on the non-custodial parent with instructions to set up payment arrangements or else face jail time. Alternatives to jail time are also available, such as withholding federal tax refunds, seizing property, suspending a business or vocational license or garnishing wages. Because jail time prevents the non-custodial parent from working and earning wages to make payments, it is generally used as a last resort.
Authorities suggest that any Dallas parents who are behind in child support payments contact the Texas Attorney General to make payment arrangements, so as to avoid a future arrest warrant.
Source: DFW.CBSlocal.com, "51 North Texas Parents Arrested In Joint Law Enforcement Initiative," Dec. 12, 2012