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Man released from prison in child support case

A Texas man who was sent to prison for allegedly failing to pay child support was released on July 2 after a review of his case by an associate judge found that a clerical error was to blame. The man was reportedly almost $3,000 behind in child support payments because payments that were supposed to be automatically deducted from his paycheck were only taken out on a sporadic basis.

The reason why the man was sent to jail was due to a 2013 law that repealed protections for parents who fell behind on their payments and was targeted at deadbeats who willfully were not paying their child support. Before the law passed, parents who paid their past due balance were generally spared any further punishment. However, parents who fall behind any amount for any reason now may face jail time and other consequences.

Although the man is now free, his sentence was merely suspended. This means that he could go to prison if he misses another payment in the future. His attorney is reportedly trying to vacate the judge's order completely in an attempt to avoid future legal trouble for the man. The man's attorney is also trying to get rid of the law that caused him trouble in the first place.

Sometimes, in child custody agreements, a parent must pay child support to help the custodial parent take care of a child's needs. Parents who are making payments on time yet are charged with failing to make payments may wish to consult with a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to work with the state to find out why the payments were not recorded as paid in an effort to help a parent avoid consequences such as jail time.

Source: The Root, "Texas Man Who Overpaid Child Support Is Released From Prison ", Breanna Edwards, July 28, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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