Lubbock County Sheriff David Gutierrez has arrested 25 West Texas parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support. The countywide sweep, which was conducted in conjunction with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's Child Support Division, focused on parents who were wanted by authorities for failing to pay their court-ordered child support.
"Parents have a moral and legal obligation to support their children," Attorney General Abbott said. "Sheriff David Gutierrez has a long record of working with us to ensure West Texas children have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. Children and taxpayers alike benefit when parents pay their court-ordered child support, so we appreciate Sheriff Gutierrez's commitment to cooperative child support enforcement."
Today's sweep represents a concerted, continuing effort by Lubbock County Sheriff David Guiterrez, who has consistently focused on serving Texas children. Lubbock County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to track down parents who are wanted for contempt of court as a result of their failure to pay child support in cases handled by the Attorney General's Child Support Division. The operation kicked off at 4 p.m. Wednesday when Sheriff Gutierrez dispatched three pairs of deputies to work overnight locating and arresting noncompliant parents. Child Support Division investigators aided Sheriff Gutierrez by providing logistical assistance.
Delinquent parents arrested in the roundup face up to six months in jail. Cash bonds posted by delinquent parents seeking release from jail are paid directly to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support.
Parents who have outstanding warrants can avoid the embarrassment of arrest at their home or work by contacting the Warrant Division of the Sheriff's Office at (806) 775-1493. Any parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments should immediately contact the Attorney General's Child Support Division at 1-800-252-8014 to make payment arrangements.
Under state and federal law, the Office of the Attorney General can assist families who request child support services and must serve families who currently receive or have received public assistance. Services offered by the Child Support Division include locating absent parents; establishing paternity for children born to unmarried parents; establishing, enforcing, and modifying child and medical support orders; and collecting and distributing child support payments.
Statewide, the Office of the Attorney General collected more than $2.3 billion for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2007. The Attorney General's Lubbock County child support offices collected $49 million of that amount.
Any Lubbock residents who have not paid and would like to set up arrangements, should contact the LSO Warrants Division at (806) 775-1493.
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