From the Texas Attorney General's Office:
ATHENS, TX – Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt's deputies, along with other law enforcement officers arrested 10 Henderson County parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support. Today'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.
In addition to the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Pct. 3 Constable David Grubbs, Pct. 5 Constable Brad Miers, and police departments from Athens, Caney City, Chandler, Eustace and Log Cabin participated in the countywide effort. Investigators with the Attorney General's Child Support Division aided Sheriff Nutt by providing logistical assistance to locate missing parents.
"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 Sheriff Ray Nutt, the constables and the local police departments that joined this effort for their unfailing commitment to Texas children."
Today's sweep targeted parents who were wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. After attending a 4:30 a.m. briefing, teams of law enforcement officers spanned the county to locate and arrest the noncompliant parents before they had a chance to leave their homes for the day.
Today's roundup resulted in the arrest of 10 parents whose failure to support their children violated the law. A total of 19 parents – including 10 from today's effort – have been arrested since the beginning of October, when roundup preparation began.
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.
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 $3.6 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2013. Henderson County parents paid $9.5 million of that amount.