Father Pays Outstanding Child Support Still Gets Jail Time

This story on MyFoxHouston making the rounds on social media, has left me scratching my head:

HOUSTON (FOX 26) – Clifford Hall says he’s more than happy to pay child support for his 11-year-old son.


“I’m his father it’s my responsibility to take care of him,” Hall says.


But Hall says when the amount of child support was modified no one told him.


“I discovered for some reason his employer was withholding a large amount some weeks a small amount some weeks a zero amount some weeks,” says Hall’s attorney Tyesha Elam.


“I didn’t want to go to jail basically,” Hall says.


So Hall quickly paid almost 3 grand in back child support.


When Hall and his ex were in Judge Lisa Millard’s court last November he owed nothing.


“Opposing counsel testified twice that he’s all paid up,” says Elam.


But the attorney representing the child’s mother wanted Hall to pay her three grand in attorney fees and Judge Millard agreed.


Court documents also reveal Hall wasn’t following the court’s scheduled times to pick his son up for visitation.


Another modification Hall says he knew nothing about.


“The Judge ended up sentencing him to 6 months in jail.” Elam says.


“When she said I remand you to the Harris County Jail for 180 days my mouth just dropped,” says Hall.


[…] Judge Millard tells Fox 26 after she found Hall in contempt he walked out of the courtroom which she says is a big no no.


Judge Millard says Hall’s attorney could have filed a motion for reconsideration which would have given her an opportunity to hear from both sides again and reevaluate the situation.


Hall’s attorney is now working on an appeal.

child-support-hall-texasOkay, so here’s where I’m confused: Is the man in this case really going to jail for paying his child support? I’m only asking because that’s how this story is being sold to the public. I realize that he did the best thing by paying up his arrears — especially since so few people have an extra $3,000 lying around. But not to nitpick or anything, but it sounds to me like him being sentenced to six months in jail is due to being in contempt of court. That would be, for falling behind, and not complying with following the court’s scheduled times to pick his son up for visitation.

Sounds ridiculous, I know, but a judge can do this according to an interview I heard with this brothers attorney and Roland S. Martin. At the end of the day, however, this case serves as yet another example of why many men with child support issues are afraid to go to court. Not that I’m making excuses for deadbeat dads; but, I can certainly understand. Oh well, it’s too bad this brother wasn’t born to a wealthy white family in Texas.

Watch the video below: