On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Child Custody on Monday, December 2, 2013.
More than 150 parents from five counties in south Texas were arrested in a week-long operation that was conducted last month. Officials with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office said that these individuals in Cameron, Starr, Willacy, Webb and Hidalgo counties had failed to pay their child support.
It remains unknown how the arrests will affect the detainees’ child custody or visitation rights. The parents who were captured had warrants for their arrest based on nonpayment, and possibly face incarceration periods as long as six months.
Parents who wanted to be released from jail were reportedly given the option of posting cash bonds that would be transferred to the custodial guardians and children to whom the overdue payments were owed. According to the state Attorney General’s Office, around $3.6 billion in child support was collected during the previous fiscal year with more than $100 million of that sum coming from local offices in the five counties that were targeted. Police sources said that the 38 parents arrested in Cameron County owed more than $650,000 in back payments and that one father owed more than $75,000.
If improperly managed, family law proceedings and divorce negotiations could result in untenable support arrangements. Parents may agree to payment amounts that they can’t sustain, making it difficult for them to avoid penalties and provide for their loved ones. In addition, incarceration might make it even more difficult to get caught up later. Attorneys who mediate negotiations and provide counsel on separation or divorce agreement terms may be able to help these individuals find a situation that lets them support their loved ones responsibly.
Source: Brownsville Herald, “Authorities arrest 150 for child support”, Fernando Del Valle, November 25, 2013