Friday, April 11, 2014
EL PASO – El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, Pct. 1 Constable Robert P. White, Pct. 6 Constable Javier Garcia and Pct. 7 Constable Angie Sommers have arrested 10 El Paso County parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support. Today’s sweep was conducted in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division. The effort focused on parents subject to arrest warrants because of their failure to pay child support.
“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 Richard Wiles, Pct. 1 Constable Robert P. White, Pct. 6 Constable Javier Garcia and Pct. 7 Constable Angie Sommers for their unfailing commitment to Texas children.”
Today’s effort targeted parents who are wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. After holding a 4:30 a.m. briefing, Sheriff Wiles dispatched teams of law enforcement officers to locate and arrest the noncompliant parents before they had a chance to leave their homes for the day. Child Support Division investigators aided the sheriff by providing logistical assistance to locate missing parents.
Today’s roundup resulted in the arrest of 10 parents whose failure to support their children violated the law. A total of 20 parents – including 10 from today’s effort – have been arrested since March 7, 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.
To avoid the embarrassment of arrest at home or work, parents with child support warrants should contact the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. 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. The Attorney General’s El Paso child support offices collected $138 million of that amount.