Governor: 135 Arrested In Child Support Roundup

STATE News:

  • Effort Collects More Than $64,000 in Unpaid Child Support

SANTA FE – Today, Gov. Susana Martinez announced that law enforcement arrested 135 parents who failed to pay child support during an annual sting.

In addition, through the amnesty period allowing parents to come forward and pay child support debt – and the subsequent roundup – the Human Services Department collected $64,310.

“This program ensures that we hold parents accountable when they fail to do their duty and support their children,” Martinez said. “We’re working to make New Mexico the best place to be a kid, and the roundup sends a clear message to irresponsible parents: If you fail to pay child support, law enforcement will find you, arrest you and make you pay up.”

Following the August amnesty period, 15 law enforcement agencies, led by the New Mexico State Police, sought out those who had not taken care of their child support bench warrant through the amnesty period.

“Parents don’t get to decide whether they should pay their child support. It’s not an option – it’s the law,” State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said. “I can guarantee you that if you stop paying your child support, it’s only a matter of time before we find you and throw you in a jail. Be a responsible parent and take care of your children.”

During Fiscal Year 2016, the New Mexico Human Services Department’s Child Support Enforcement Division set yet another record in child support collections with a total of $140.8 million. Each of the past four fiscal years, New Mexico has broken state records for child support collections, collecting $140.1 million in FY 2015, $137.1 million in FY 2014, $132.2 million in FY 2013 and $129.6 million in FY 2012. Thanks to programs like the bench warrant roundup, New Mexico was recognized by the National Child Support Enforcement Association in 2012 as the nation’s most improved.

In conjunction with the bench warrant amnesty and round up period, Governor Martinez proclaimed August 2016 to be Child Support Awareness Month to recognize New Mexico parents who support their children, and encourage all parents to take responsibility for improving the economic and social well-being of their children. The Governor’s proclamation is available here.

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