POSTED: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 6:58pm
UPDATED: Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 5:37pm
Tyler, TX — Being a parent comes with responsibilities, and being a single parent can be even more challenging.
In 2011, the U.S. Administration for Children and Families estimated 10.8 billion dollars in child support was past due in Texas.
The non-collection child support is a serious issue-- parents avoiding payments.
KETK spoke to a Family Law Attorney of Tyler, Beau Sinclair, about how serious this issue is.
"Here in Smith County, there are many cases every week in which someone is seeking to hold a non-custodial parent in contempt for failing to pay child support," says Sinclair.
More than 1,200 child support cases have been filed in Smith County in 2011.
"When someone is ordered to pay child support they are ordered to pay through the state distribution unit in San Antonio and that provides a ready way to track it," says Sinclair.
Gregg County's non-collection rate was at 39% in August 2011.
The Office of Attorney General Texas tells KETK, in Smith County, only 60% of parents paid child support.
"Some of the excuses you hear is I lost my job, I simply don't have the money to pay, I don't want to pay because I'm not being treated fairly by my spouse," says Sinclair.
Parents whom don't pay will be in contempt of court and serve up to 180 days in jail.
Sinclair tells KETK that child support debt never goes away even if you file bankruptcy, and a lean can be put on a parent who refuse not to pay child support.
Sinclair tells KETK the worst consequence of all is children who go with out.