Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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Dallas County Conducts Joint Initiative to Arrest Delinquent Parents

DALLAS – Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez; Pcts. 1, 3, 4 and 5 county constable offices and the Texas Attorney General’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit have arrested 51 Dallas County parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support. This week’s effort focused on parents who were the subjects of arrest warrants because of their failure to pay court-ordered child support.

“Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments,” Attorney General 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 Dallas County law enforcement officials for their unfailing commitment to Texas children.”

Monday’s sweep targeted parents who are wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. Teams of law enforcement officers hit the streets at 6 a.m. to locate and arrest the noncompliant parents before they had a chance to leave their homes for the day. Child Support Division investigators assisted in the effort by providing logistical assistance and helping to locate missing parents. The roundup resulted in the arrest of 51 parents whose failure to pay child support violates Texas law.

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.

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 (OAG) exceeded $3.4 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2012. The OAG Dallas child support region collected $357 million of that amount.