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Nearly 50 parents arrested in child support sting

For many in Texas, financial difficulties make it hard to meet one's monthly obligations. This can occur due to the loss of a job, an illness or injury or an unexpected increase in one's cost of living. For many non-custodial parents, child support is among the monthly bills that can fall into arrears. It is important to make arrangements to address outstanding child support payments because a failure to do so can result in serious punitive measures, up to and including arrest and a possible jail term.

In a recent child support sting, authorities with the Texas Attorney General's Fugitive Unit has arrested 48 individuals who have allegedly failed to meet their child support obligations. Three teams within that Unit worked for a week to track down and arrest the parents, all of whom were residents of Tarrant County. The teams were assisted by workers from the Child Support Division. Authorities urge anyone in the area who has an outstanding arrest warrant for unpaid child support to turn themselves in, which would avoid the embarrassment of being arrested at home or in the workplace.

Parents who have fallen behind but do not yet have an arrest warrant issued are urged to contact the Attorney General's Child Support Division to work out a payment plan. In some cases, this can give parents the opportunity to catch up with past due child support. It can also help them to avoid an arrest and subsequent court appearance, which can lead to a number of problems both at home and at work.

For some in Texas, a change in circumstances has made it difficult to meet child support obligations. For example, a parent who has lost his or her job and is making every effort to find new employment is certainly not trying to shirk responsibility for child support. In such cases, it is possible to approach the court and ask for a reduction in the payment amount. Family courts are there to promote and protect the best interests of the child, and having a parent make a reduced child support payment is a better outcome for a child than having that parent jailed for non-payment.

Source: northdallasgazette.com, "48 Tarrant County parents arrested for not paying child support", Sept. 6, 2015

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