Friday, April 4, 2003

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Attorney General Greg Abbott Announces Tarrant County Child Support Roundup

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced that on Monday, April 7, beginning at 5 a.m., Tarrant County constables will sweep the county to round up parents who are in violation of court orders requiring the payment of child support. Parents subject to arrest face contempt-of-court charges for failing to appear at court hearings pertaining to their Attorney General child support case. Special Enforcement Operations investigators from the Attorney General's Child Support Division will support the constables in the roundup.

"I commend the constables in Tarrant County for helping children receive child support they need to succeed in life. Paying court-ordered child support is an obligation and not a suggestion. Parents who shirk their legal and moral duty to pay child support will face the consequences of their actions," said Attorney General Abbott.

Constables and their deputies will work in teams to arrest delinquent parents. Arrested parents will be required to post bond or will remain in custody until a hearing, which can result in a sentence of up to six months in jail. If a delinquent parent posts the bond set by a judge, the money will go to the custodial parent and children involved in the case.

Noncustodial parents can avoid arrest by paying child support in full and on time. Tarrant County parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments should immediately contact the Attorney General's Child Support Division at 972-339-3100 to make payment arrangements.

The Attorney General's Child Support Division is directed by state and federal law to assist families who currently receive or have received public assistance and families who request child support services. Services 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.

Child support collected by the Attorney General's Office exceeded $1.4 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2002.