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Jail time works for some Texas parents late with child support

Is sending a Texas parent to jail for failure to pay child support a good idea? Some analysts think incarcerating a mother or father is an extreme punishment for parents who may have the motivation, but not the ability, to make things right.

Others believe that a deadbeat parent who does some jail time gets negative reinforcement that will encourage them to keep making monetary contributions for their children.

The state attorney general's office is helping Texas parents recover delinquent support. Studies have shown that kids who receive financial and emotional support from both parents tend to have fewer behavioral issues, try harder in school and complete their education.

A Victoria, Texas, mother was jailed twice after failing to meet child support obligations for her two sons. The woman said she is glad for the experience.

The parent said she became a mother at a young age and felt she would not be punished for skipping her parental obligation. She said she is still paying for the selfishness of her 20s.

The 40-year-old woman now acknowledges that her ex-husband was unfairly burdened. She is paying off a $15,000 child support debt, although both of her children are now adults.

The mother's ex-husband admits he was forced to work multiple jobs to raise the couple's two sons alone. The single father says being a man made it more difficult for him to go after his ex-wife for child support.

A single mother, whose ex-husband refused to pay child support or develop a relationship with the couple's child, is glad parental jail time is an option. The woman asked the court to jail her former husband twice for support nonpayment.

The mother said she might have changed her mind if her son's dad had participated in the boy's life. The father's absenteeism took away emotional support. The mother wanted to be sure the child's financial support would not be neglected.

Source:, "Child support tug of war/ Pro," Gheni Platenburg, July 7, 2012

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Law Office of Michael D. Tracton, P.C.

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