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Police in Lafayette round up 'deadbeat dads'

Delinquent fathers in the Lafayette, Louisiana area have reason to be nervous these days. Members of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office have ratcheted up efforts to bring to justice fathers that have chronically failed to live up to their child support obligations. They made some progress with their efforts, too.

Physically knocking on doors and searching for "deadbeat dads," law enforcement targeted 25 cases and 15 were resolved because of their efforts. Of these resolutions, five of these individuals were arrested and the other 10 were able to avoid jail in exchange for paying either restitution or a portion of the payments that they owed. Those not placed behind bars will have to appear in court where a judge will likely reinstate their monthly payments.

Arguably, the biggest offender in the entire Lafayette area continues to elude police. A 51-year-old local man is said to owe $100,000 in unpaid child support. The latest sting targeted this man, but police were unable to locate him. Law enforcement officers are asking anyone with information on the man to send in tips.

An operation like this is one of the few ways that a negligent parent can be forced into paying the money they owe. Even though courts order individuals to pay child support and other forms of spousal support, many chose to simply ignore the mandate. This is a dangerous game as it robs children and parents of money they so desperately need for necessities. Though such officials are doing all they can, individual legal counsel can also provide assistance by making officials aware of specifics concerning child support orders that are being ignored.

The Warrants Division works alongside the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services to contact families who have requested payments and identify those that are holding out.

Source: The Advertiser, "Deputies make a dent in 'deadbeat dad' cases," Brandon Kane, Dec. 15, 2011

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