A total of 51 parents were recently arrested in Dallas County. The main charge was failure to pay child support in violation of a court order. The arrests were made pursuant to arrest warrants and were staged by teams of officers starting as early as 6 a.m. Those arrested on these civil warrants can be jailed for up to six months.
Release from jail for these parents will typically require the posting of a substantial cash bond, the proceeds of which are applied toward the parents' child support obligation. The arrests were part of a new initiative by the county, assisted by state agencies and officials who aided in obtaining the warrants and locating the parents who were arrested.
Custodial parents who do not receive the child support to which they are entitled under a court order may understandably get frustrated. Jailing parents who fall behind, on the other hand, may accomplish little or nothing, as it is extremely unlikely that a parent owing child support will be able to pay that obligation while behind bars. Those who have fallen behind on child support payments, instead of just passively waiting for an arrest to happen, or trying to run away from legal efforts to collect the money, should take proactive steps.
Through the assistance of a family law attorney, it is possible to work out the problem to avoid such dire consequences by discussing a possible payment modification plan to show good faith. Such modifications may be granted, especially when economic circumstances have changed, such as by a reduction of working hours, the loss of a job or a cut in pay.
Source: Focus Daily News, "Dallas County conducts initiative to arrest delinquent parents," Dec. 17, 2012