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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Man jailed for accidentally making late child support payments

A Texas father was sentenced to six months in jail for not making timely child support payments, despite the fact that he may not have been at fault for the delay. The man was taken into custody in Harris County on June 22, but his attorney is still hoping that a judge will consider suspending the father's jail sentence. The father was said to have owed his child's mother over $3,000 for child support, and the man was held in contempt of court for failing to make full payments.

According to the father's attorney, the man's former employer had been garnishing the employee's wages and sending them to the court for child support payments to the mother. The attorney said that the employer sent an incorrect amount to the court, unbeknownst to the father. Once the father was told that he owed at least $3,000, he paid the court the support arrears plus an additional $1,000. Despite his attempt to comply with the court's child support order, he was sentenced to jail time, thanks to a new law in Texas that provides for mandatory jail time in cases of unpaid child support.

The father will now lose his job as a result of having to spend six months in jail, and he says that the toughest part of losing his job is not being able to provide for his son. The mother of the child was allegedly not allowing the father to visit with his son, even though he has been wanting to spend more time with his child.

Although the court declined to waive the sentence, the man's attorney says that they will continue to appeal the decision. Parents who have concerns about their child support or child care responsibilities and parents who are having a hard time meeting their support obligations may want to request the guidance of a family law attorney.

Source: KPRC, "Dad begins jail sentence in complicated child support case", Mary Benton, June 24, 2014

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