Getting behind on child support payments is no laughing matter. It is not good for the children, and it can carry serious consequences for the parents who do not pay. One Texas county decided to dole out some of those consequences for parents who were alleged to be behind in child support payments in a sweeping round-up dubbed Operation Take Care.
The round-up began in the early morning hours of June 28. A local constable reported that 24 police officers went door to door to find the parents who had active arrest warrants for failure to pay child support and arrested those who were at home. More than 40 people were initially arrested for delinquent payment.
The round-up was announced weeks before it began, so some parents had already contacted the appropriate authorities and were able to make arrangements to pay the child support in lieu of going to jail. Local law enforcement expects the operation to continue for several weeks, and it encouraged other parents alleged to owe money to come forward as well. Those who do not come forward on their own could face a term of up to six months in jail. Any cash bonds posted by them are turned over to the parents who are owed the child support money.
Operation Take Care is focusing initially on the approximately 575 active arrest warrants on file for parents who owe child support. Law enforcement has said that it plans to come to people's businesses and homes and do whatever it takes to find them.
There are a number of legitimate financial reasons why someone would get behind on child support payments, including loss of a job or unexpected medical expenses. Every parent who is ordered to pay child support has the right to go to court to seek a modification of the original court order when circumstances change to avoid facing jail time and other penalties.
Source: Click2Houston.com, "Dozens arrested in child support roundup," Amanda Perez, June 28, 2014
News92FM, “Child Support Dodgers Round-Up Begins with 25 Arrests,”June 30, 2014