A number of people in Texas decided to ignore the child support payments that the courts had ordered them to make, and 16 of them were arrested as a result. Not making these payments in the face of a direct order can lead to charges of contempt of court, and the back payments will still need to be paid, even after the arrest. People who have been told to make these payments need to understand how the police enforce the rulings and how the laws deal with those who do not pay.
When adding up the amounts owed by the 16 people who were arrested, the total came to a staggering $532,000 in payments that had not been made. The state decided to take action because child support payments of over half of a million dollars can really make a difference in the lives of those children. However, this high total was spread out. The highest amount that was owed to a single family was $83,000. The only man who owned more was an individual who was $120,000 behind on his payments, seeing as how he had to make payments to two different families.
The authorities stated that they went wherever they needed to go to find the parents. Some of them were arrested while they were at home, and others were arrested while they were still at work. One of them was a mother, but the rest were fathers who had skipped out on their payments.
The maximum jail time for this sort of case, when the resulting charge is one of contempt of court, is going to be right around six months.
Source: The Port Arthur News, “Sixteen arrested in child support sweep” Sherry Koonce, Mar. 27, 2014