For many single parents, the financial support provided by a non-custodial parent can make all the difference. However, there are many parents who are unable to meet their child support obligations due to financial hardship. In many cases, Texas parents have faced criminal charges and jail time when they have fallen in arrears with no means to catch up on their payments.
The vast majority of parents who are behind in their child support simply lack the income necessary to make these payments in a timely fashion. In many cities and towns, local police are sent out with warrants to round up those who are referred to as “dead-beat” parents because they are significantly behind in their payments. However, studies have shown that incarcerating these parents often does more harm than good for the children involved.
Recently, one elected official announced that his office would no longer criminally prosecute those parents who are behind in their support payments. This district attorney announced the change in policy since it is believed that sending parents to jail for non-payment usually exacerbates the problem since the parent lacks the income to pay. Once a non-custodial parent has a criminal record, it makes his or her prospects of finding gainful employment even more difficult, thereby causing greater economic hardship for the child’s custodial parent.
A spokesperson for the local police union expressed its disapproval of the change in policy, as it feels that not prosecuting these individuals does a disservice to the custodial parent and the greater community. Child support is of vital importance in ensuring that a child receives all of the material support necessary for a healthy life. When Texas parents are struggling to receive these payments or are finding it difficult to meet their obligations, an experienced attorney may be able to provide assistance in seeking a modification that may bring relief for the parties involved.