HB 161

85(R) - 2017
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Harold Dutton Jr.

Bill Caption

 Relating to the child support obligation of an obligor during the obligor’s confinement in jail or prison. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify the rules surrounding contempt of court for failure to pay child support. If this bill passes a court may not find a defendant in contempt of court for failure to pay child support if obligor can prove that the unpaid child support accrued during their confinement in local, state, or federal institutions. There are two exceptions however, the first is if the offense that they were incarcerated for was family violence. The second reason a person would be obligated to pay the child support, would be if their time in incarceration was due to their failure to comply with child support directives.

Vote Recommendation Notes

It is well within the proper role of the state to enforce the payment of child support. It is also reasonable that an individual who is incarcerated, and has virtually no ability to make payments during their incarceration, should not be held in contempt. By holding the person in contempt we are perpetuating their presence in the criminal justice system and further hindering their ability to pay their obligations. This bill promotes personal responsibility by not perpetuating the aforementioned cycle and therefore we support this bill.