KXAN (AUSTIN) — Thirty-six Travis County parents have been arrested for failure to pay child support.
Last week’s sweep of parents who violated court orders to pay child support ended Friday at 5:00 p.m., according to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The effort focused on parents who were the subjects of arrest warrants. Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “I commend everyone involved in holding accountable those who attempt to evade child support. Their efforts help ensure better care and better lives for Texas children.”
The sweep was conducted by Travis County Precinct 5 Constable Carlos B. Lopez in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Child Support Division.
After a 4:00 a.m. briefing on Saturday, September 19, Constable Lopez sent seven teams of deputy constables to track down parents before they had a chance to leave their homes for the day.
The arrested parents face up to six months in jail. Cash bonds that parents pay to get out of jail will go to custodial parents and children who are owed child support payments.
The Attorney General’s Office collected $3.9 billion in child support for the state fiscal year that ended August 31. Parents in Travis County paid $135 million of that amount.
The Child Support Division says their office is the “most successful and cost-effective program in the nation,” with $11.34 collected for every $1 spent.
Last week, KXAN reported that almost half-a-billion dollars was owed in child support payments in Travis County, and almost $15 billion owed statewide. Constable Lopez said funding from the commissioner’s court has allowed for the creation of six teams of officers to track down parents who owe payments.
The Attorney General’s Office says parents with outstanding warrants who want to avoid the embarrassment of an arrest at their home or work can contact the Precinct 5 warrant section at (512) 854-9582. Parents who have fallen behind in payments, but are not yet subject to an arrest warrant, should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Child Support Division to set up payment arrangements. The division can be reached at (800) 252-8014.