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The failure to make child support payments can have serious consequences. Sadly, the worst consequences are for the children, whose quality of life is affected. Texas family courts, like most states, are not very forgiving of those who intentionally and persistently avoid their child support obligations. In addition to being ordered to pay amounts in arrears, parents can also serve lengthy jail sentences, have flight restrictions imposed and lose their professional licenses.

After six long years, the search for one of the state’s biggest deadbeat dads came to an end in Hidalgo County, Texas, southeast of Houston. The child’s mother couldn’t be happier. The McAllen woman is hoping justice will be served after receiving less than $2,000 from her seven-year-old daughter’s father, who had vanished until a local investigator called to inform her of the arrest.

The arrest came during a massive crackdown by local authorities on Texas deadbeat parents, who are coming up with more and more ways to avoid their obligations. Although it took some time, the arrest in this case is a great relief for the mother. The child’s father discovered that he can’t sever his family ties so easily.

According to a local sheriff, judges will not tolerate the failure to pay child support anymore and anyone found guilty may be subject to arrest and a jail sentence. The dad was expected to pay $157 every month based on minimum wage rates back in 2006. Unfortunately, investigators could not find any employer that could verify his employment.

The Texas attorney general’s office says that 80 percent of parents do pay their child support. It’s the other 20 percent who cause the biggest headaches and frustration. Although more than $3.5 billion in child support payments were collected last year in Texas, more is still owed and taxpayers are left to bear the burden.

A child is the parents’ responsibility until the age of majority. For parents who cannot afford their child support payments, the best course of action is to seek a child support modification. Experienced legal professionals can provide advice and seek an adjustment in the courts. Additionally, any Texas residents seeking to enforce a child support order can also benefit from the advice and direction of a family law attorney.

Source: ValleyCentral.com, “Deadbeat Dad Arrested After Not Paying Child Support,” Brett Crandall, June 7, 2013

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