A Houston man recently received a six-month jail sentence after a court hearing in which it was proven that he was completely caught up with his child support payments. The man claims that he understands his responsibility as a father to take care of his son. His attorney says that the father originally fell behind on child support because his employer was changing the amounts taken from his pay every week without his knowledge. Some weeks his employer would set aside nothing, leading to the man being nearly $3,000 behind.
To avoid jail time, the man paid the entire amount owed, a fact that was supported by opposing counsel during a court hearing. Attorneys representing the 11-year-old boy’s mother then requested that the man pay her attorney fees, to which the judge agreed. Also, it was revealed that the man was picking up his son for visitation at the incorrect times. Although the man claims that he was not aware of the changes in the visitation schedule, he was nevertheless sentenced to 180 days in jail.
A local community activist says that the case is shocking, and he would like to see the Texas judicial board conduct an investigation. The father stated that the decision is not in the child’s best interests, as he will not be able to pay child support while behind bars. The judge stated that the man was found in contempt at one point during the hearing, and he also apparently left the courtroom at one point. His attorney intends to appeal the decision.
While it’s arguable whether or not this man deserved to go to jail, it does show that people who pay child support may also need legal representation. Often, the people who are supposed to receive child support end up seeking help in the courts if they’re not receiving payments. Both sides may need an attorney in some cases, however.
Source: myfoxhouston.com, “Father pays outstanding child support, still gets jail time” Randy Wallace, Jan. 03, 2014