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Failing to pay child support can be a criminal offense in Texas

While it may not be widely recognized as such, failure to pay child support in Texas can be a criminal offense. Individuals who fail to follow family court orders of any kind can find themselves on the wrong side of the law. For example, ignoring a restraining order or custody arrangement can lead to serious legal penalties.

Authorities in Gregg County, Texas, recently initiated a large roundup of parents who failed to pay child support. Police arrested 10 parents in a single day and made a total of 15 arrests over the course of March. Attorney General Greg Abbott commended the initiative, stating that parents have a responsibility to protect the well-being of their children. He went on to say that the collection of child support safeguards the growth and health of children throughout Texas.

Arrest is only one example of the types of legal ramifications that can result from not following a family court order. If your ex-spouse or ex-partner has violated a court order, then you should be aware of your options for enforcement. Securing legal counsel during such a time of conflict can protect you and your child.

Parents who are having trouble making child support payments should likewise be aware of the option of seeking a modification. Sometimes a parent's financial situation takes a turn for the worse, and a child support modification is the right course of action. What parents should never do is simply stop making payments. You can learn more about our compassionate approach to these issues at our family law website.

Source: KETK NBC, "Gregg Co. law enforcement arrests 15 parents for failing to pay child support," April 1, 2014

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