Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that 17 parents were arrested in Smith County for violating court orders requiring them to pay child support.
This roundup was completed by Smith County in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division (CSD). A total of 24 parents have been arrested since roundups were initiated earlier this month.
“My office will not allow parents to sidestep their fundamental and moral responsibility to care for their children,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “I want to thank the law enforcement officials who held parents accountable for their court-ordered child support, and I encourage all parents who may owe back child support to contact my office immediately to resolve the issue.”
Today’s countywide sweep targeted parents who were wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. After holding a 4:30 a.m. briefing, Sheriff Smith of Smith County dispatched 12 teams of law enforcement officers to track down the noncompliant parents. Child Support Division investigators aided the sheriff by providing logistical assistance.
The delinquent parents arrested in this initiative face up to six months in jail. In addition to the recent 17 arrests, seven additional parents have been arrested since the beginning of the month, when roundup preparations began. Cash bonds that parents pay to get out of jail go 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 yet subject to warrants for their arrest – should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Child Support Division at (800) 252-8014 to make payment arrangements.
Statewide, child support collected by the Attorney General’s Office exceeded $3.9 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. Parents in Smith County paid $37.8 million of that amount.