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Clerical Error in Child Support Leads to Jail Sentence for Texas Dad

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Due to a clerical error, Texas father Clifford Hall is serving six months in jail for overdue child support.

Errors in the automated child support deduction from Hall's paycheck caused a payment shortage, but when Hall discovered this imbalance, he paid it immediately – plus fines.

Still, the state’s attorney took the case to a higher court in Texas, where the law says overdue child support could lead to a maximum of six months of jail time –even if restitution has been made.

This makes no sense to me as a form of justice.

While incarcerated this dad will likely be unable to pay support, and may not have a job upon release. How does this benefit his 12-year-old son? If there is another child support arrearage created by his incarceration, will this dad walk out of jail only to be a target on his way right back in? A never-ending revolving door in and out of jail is wrong!

If you have an auto-deduction from your check and the deduction is being made then you’ve done your part. Not so, in this case. Now, this dad will be lucky if he sees or speaks to his son for six months.

This is not an example of justice for this dad’s young and impressionable boy to see -- his dad going to jail when he paid the support. When I think about the more than two million American children who have a parent behind bars, I wonder what kind of profound emotional impact that has on these children. Fathers account for 90% of incarcerated parents.

This case is a prime example of why fathers’ rights need to be protected, and a classic case of gender bias in a broken system. Hard-working dads, who make child support payments should be celebrated, not incarcerated.



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