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AG Hood: Even animals take care of their kids

courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc

This August marks the 22nd anniversary of Child Support Awareness Month, which focuses on informing families on the services dedicated to helping children receive support from both parents.

Government agencies and non-profits from all over the United States are participating in the national month of recognition.

“Refusal to pay child support in Mississippi is a felony,” said General Hood. “Parents will be held accountable through our office’s Child Desertion Unit to uphold their monetary responsibility to their children. It is essential that we enforce every law and do everything possible so that children in our state are supported and can have a brighter future.”

The Child Desertion Unit of the Attorney General’s Office is dedicated to the prosecution of deadbeat parents of Mississippi children. This unit criminally prosecutes parents for desertion, abandonment, and failure to pay court-ordered child support. In Fiscal Year 2017, the amount of fines, fees, and restitution awarded in child support cases prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office was $403,356.01.

Attorney General Hood says they pick the more extreme cases when seeking prosecution.

“We pick out those cases where they owe $10,000 or more,” said Hood. “And we have evidence that they could have been paying, but they haven’t been.”

Hood said oftentimes the reason for not repaying is a disagreement with the ex-spouse.

“But the children here are the real victims. Even animals take care of their kids,” said Hood. “So certainly humans owe it to take care of their children as well.”

Hood says they’ve made progress.

“I am very proud of my office’s efforts to ensure that children have support from both parents,” added General Hood. “We will continue to hold parents responsible and prosecute them if they do not uphold that great responsibility. Our services are very important to children and families from all over the state, and I am happy to recognize this special opportunity to share information on this issue.”

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