Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Ector County Sheriff Conducts Child Support Roundup

ODESSA – Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson has arrested six Ector County parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support. This week’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,” 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 Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson for his unfailing commitment to Texas children.”

This week’s sweep, which began Monday, targeted parents who are wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. After holding an early morning briefing, Sheriff Donaldson dispatched his deputies to locate and arrest the noncompliant parents. Child Support Division investigators aided the sheriff by providing logistical assistance to locate missing 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.

To avoid the embarrassment of arrest at home or work, parents with child support warrants should contact the Ector 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 child support office that covers Ector County collected $44 million of that amount.