PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

March 27, 2014

Sixteen arrested in child support sweep

BEAUMONT — Sixteen Jefferson County parents were arrested this week for not paying monetarily supporting their children during a joint sweep between the Texas Attorney General’s office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office.

Those arrested had violated court orders requiring them to pay child support, and were subsequently charged with contempt of court.

“We went to residences, we went to work places,” Rod Carroll, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department, said.

The arrests were made in all areas of the county Tuesday and Wednesday, Carroll said.

Of those 16 arrested, the total child support owed was $532,000.

One of the delinquent parents was a mother; the most owed to one family was $83,000; and one man owed $120,000 to two families, according to Janece Rolfe, spokesperson with the Attorney General’s Child Support Division.

“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 Mitch Woods for his unfailing commitment to Texas children.”

Parents who are delinquent in paying their child support can be charged with contempt of court and arrested on a civil warrant with jail time up to six months.

If arrested, any cash bond posted by the delinquent parent is paid to he custodial parents and children who are owed back support payments.

To avoid embarrassment of arrest at home or work, Carroll urged parents with child support warrants to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Parents who are behind in their payments, but have not yet had a warrant issued for their arrest, should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Child Support Division at (800) 252-8014 to make payment arrangements.

Carroll said the Sheriff’s office together with the AG’s office make about two to three child support sweeps each year, and routinely makes arrests for The AG’s office, under state and federal law, can assist families who request child support services and must serve families who currently receive or have received public assistance.

Services offered by the AG’s 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.  

In Texas more than $3.6 billion was collected by the AG’s office for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2013. Jefferson County child support offices collected $110 million of that amount.

For more information about child support services call the Attorney General’s office at (800)252-8014.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews.

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