AUSTIN - The child support roundup conducted last month by Travis County Precinct 5 Constable Bruce Elfant resulted in the arrest of 64 parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support. The countywide sweep began in September when Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Constable Elfant launched an operation targeting parents who are wanted by authorities on contempt of court charges for failing to pay child support.
“Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments,” Attorney General Abbott said. “By collecting child support, we are ensuring young Texans have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. We are grateful to Constable Bruce Elfant, an important ally and dedicated lawman, for his commitment to Texas children.”
In early September, Elfant and investigators from the Attorney General's Child Support Division began an intense effort to locate parents sought by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Travis County Domestic Relations Office for nonpayment of child support. Since that time, there have been 64 total arrests, including 30 that were announced on Sept. 10 when Constable Elfant and Attorney General Abbott kicked off the operation.
Parents arrested for violating child support orders can receive up to six-month jail sentences. Cash bonds that parents post to get out of jail are paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support.
Under state and federal law, the OAG is obligated to assist families who request child support services and is required to assist those 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.
Parents can call (800) 252-8014 to apply for services or obtain information about their child support case. Statewide, child support collected by the Attorney General exceeded $2 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2007. The Attorney General's Austin child support offices collected $103 million of that amount.