One reason so many parents skip out on child support after a divorce: Given how overburdened the system is, there's seldom anyone in authority to make them keep the money train rolling.
In an attempt to change that equation, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office just conducted what it's calling Operation Dead-Beat Parents. ACSO representatives targeted the top 25 biggest child-support scofflaws in its jurisdiction -- and lo and behold, twelve of them were subsequently arrested. This will likely cost the alleged offenders a lot more in the long run than if they'd just kept up their payments. Even a kid could figure that out.
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FAILURE TO PROVIDE CHILD SUPPORT RESULTS IN ARRESTS
On Wednesday and Thursday, December 2 and 3, 2009, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, in collaboration with the Department of Human Services' Child Support Enforcement Services, executed "Operation Dead-Beat Parent." This operation plan was designed to attempt to locate and arrest the Department of Human Services' Child Support Enforcement Division's top 25 individuals who have neglected to meet their child support obligations. Reducing the number of parents failing to pay their child support is a benefit for children, custodial parents and the various agencies that provide services to these families.
Deputies with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Fugitive and Special Investigations Section were able to locate and arrest 12 of the top 25 individuals identified who were all charged with the following:
C.R.S. 14-14-110 Contempt of Court (Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 107): If a non-custodial parent is ordered to make child support payments and willfully fails or refuses to do so, they may be held in contempt of court which could result in a fine, jail time, or both, depending on the judge or magistrate's ruling.
"Arapahoe County takes a number of steps to encourage parents to meet their support obligations to their children," stated Cheryl Ternes, Director of the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services. "We recognize that nearly half of all parents who fail to pay child support may not be financially able and encourage them to contact our Child Support Enforcement Division to see how we can help. However, the other half who actually do earn enough to pay and choose to disregard their responsibilities will not be tolerated, and may find themselves arrested in future sweeps."
The citizens of Arapahoe County are aware of the effects on families when a non-custodial parent neglects to pay their child support. Through the combined efforts of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and the Child Support Enforcement Services on Operation Dead-Beat Parent, more children will begin to receive the financial support they need and deserve.
If you would like assistance with establishing or enforcing a child support order, or if you know you have a related warrant and would like to surrender yourself, please contact Arapahoe County's Child Support Enforcement Division at 303-752-8900.