Twenty-three Tarrant County parents found out the hard way Friday that there are repercussions for not paying child support.Constables from all eight Tarrant County precincts teamed up with the Texas Attorney Generals Child Support Division in a one-day roundup that netted 22 fathers and one mother for failing to pay court-ordered child support, said Janece Rolfe, a spokesperson for the AGs office.The bottom line is that these parents have been given many opportunities to pay their child support, Rolfe said, noting that Texas has more than 1 million parents who pay child support.Across Texas, child support collected by the attorney generals office exceeded $3.4 billion for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. Tarrant County parents paid $282 million.An operation like this sends a message that there are consequences if you dont pay child support, Rolfe said.The round-up started at 5 a.m. Friday when the constables dispatched teams of deputy constables to track down the delinquent parents before they had a chance to leave home for the day. Child support division investigators aided the constables by providing logistical assistance and helping to locate missing parents. Delinquent parents arrested on civil warrants face up to six months in jail. Cash bonds posted by parents seeking release from jail are paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support, Rolfe said.Tarrant County Precinct 1 Constable Michael Campbell said such periodic roundups help keep warrants from piling up.I advise everybody that has issues with child support to work with the AGs office to avoid these problems, he said.The attorney generals office recommends that parents who have outstanding warrants can avoid the embarrassment of arrest by turning themselves into the Tarrant County Jail.Parents who have fallen behind on support payments, but are not yet subject to warrants for their arrests, should contact the AGs child support division at 800-252-8014 to make payment arrangements.Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments, Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a news release. By collecting child support, we are ensuring young Texans have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. We are grateful that all eight of Tarrant Countys constables teamed up with the Attorney Generals Office to help serve and protect Texas children.
Steve Campbell, 817-390-7981 Twitter: @stevecamp