Friday, September 21, 2012

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El Paso County Sheriff and Constables Conduct Child Support Roundup

EL PASO – El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, Pct. 1 Constable Richard P. White, Pct. 2 Constable Rick Gammon, Pct. 4 Constable Luis Aguilar and Pct. 7 Constable Angie Sommers have arrested 14 El Paso parents who failed to pay their court-ordered child support. Thursday’s sweep was conducted in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division. The effort focused on parents who were the subjects of arrest warrants because of their failure to pay 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 Sheriff Richard Wiles, Pct. 1 Constable Richard P. White, Pct. 2 Constable Rick Gammon, Pct. 4 Constable Luis Aguilar and Pct. 7 Constable Angie Sommers for their unfailing commitment to Texas children.”

Yesterday’s sweep targeted parents who are wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. The operation kicked off at 3 p.m. Thursday when Sheriff Wiles dispatched teams of law enforcement officers to work into the night to arrest the noncompliant parents. Child Support Division investigators assisted the sheriff by providing logistical assistance to locate wanted parents.
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 outstanding warrants can avoid the embarrassment of arrest at their home or work by contacting the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. 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 exceeded $3.4 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2012. The Attorney General’s El Paso County child support offices collected $135 million of that amount.