In Dallas, child support enforcement is taken very seriously. Parents who are obligated to make monthly payments for the upkeep and care of their children are required to do so or face penalties if they don't. In the event that a parent who is supposed to be paying child support fails to make the payments, law enforcement will use multiple tactics to pursue them and get them to pay. It can lead to significant problems down the road for the supporting parent.
A sweep designed to catch parents who were supposed to be making payments to support their children but have failed to do so was recently undertaken in Texas. Forty-three people were arrested because of delinquent payments. The parents who were captured had had arrest warrants issued due to their failure to pay. The goal is to ensure that the children will be cared for as the legal agreement states they should be. The parents who were arrested had been found in contempt of court. The penalties they face can include six months in jail. If a cash bond is used to secure release, the money is given to the parent who was supposed to receive support.
The idea behind child support enforcement is not to punish the parent who is not making payments, but to ensure that the payments will be made for the children's sake. This is to care for the child as laid out by the agreement. Parents who are not receiving the amount they're supposed to could have trouble paying for the child's food, clothing and other important aspects in the child's life.
In some instances, the supporting parent might have the money and is simply trying to shortchange the other parent for reasons of revenge or because they simply don't want to pay. It's important to pursue these parents to get payment. Everything from pensions, tips, trust funds, unemployment benefits, Social Security and unreported income must be examined to see what the supporting parent has to make the payments.
In the case of the parents who were rounded up, they had been found in contempt for delinquent payments. Arresting parents is never the main goal of pursuit for child support. The important thing is that the children are cared for.
Source: Austin American-Statesman, "Travis County constable conducts child support roundup," Christian McDonald, Sept. 25, 2014