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Texas deadbeat dads now targeted for unpaid child support

A South Texas man recently found out that moms and state authorities have long memories. The deadbeat dad discovered this fact when he was arrested for unpaid child support after the child's mom had pursued money he has owed over six years.

Because raising a child comes along with expenses for school, food, clothing and other needs, parents who do not pay what they owe are increasingly the target of state and local authorities.

In this case, the state attorney general's child-support division was unsuccessful in its attempts to have the paychecks of the McAllen's woman's ex-husband garnished to meet delinquent child-support payments for their seven-year-old daughter. She thought the matter might be dead until a Hidalgo County detective called to tell her that the father had been arrested for nonpayment.

The woman confirmed that she received less than $2,000 in child support in a six-year-period. Six years ago, the father was ordered to pay only $157 each month in child support, an amount based on his then-minimum wage income of $5.15 per hour.

According to the attorney general's office, 80 percent of parents pay at least some of what they owe - $3.5 billion in Texas last year. The other 20 percent of parents somehow manage to not pay any of the support they owe.

Enforcement problems often come from employers who will not confirm to the state that workers are employed by them. In response, a campaign recently began in the state of Texas to arrest these deadbeats.

Unpaid child support not only can affect a child's quality of life, but also his or her relationship with his or her father. Fortunately, legal options are available to help collect money owed by noncustodial parents. State and local child support enforcement agencies and law enforcement personnel are now more inclined to crack down on those will not pay what they owe, which can be beneficial to those parents who want to pursue delinquent payments.

Source: Valley Central, "Deadbeat dad arrested after not paying child support," Brett Crandall, June 7, 2013

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