Many people wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, while others wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and bacon. But over a dozen people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who had been charged with child support delinquencies and other criminal charges, woke up to the sound of police knocking on their door.
Police took this early bird approach in order to arrest fugitives and delinquents in what was dubbed as "Operation Sunrise." Armed with arrest warrants, police started off as early as 2:00 am. Besides targeting fugitives in Philadelphia, police also traveled out to several neighboring counties, namely Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery County. Besides parents who had delinquent child support payments, others who were arrested faced various criminal charges like drug dealing, attempted murder and child molestation.
Those apprehended were temporarily detained in Philadelphia before being transferred to another area where there was a warrant for their arrest. According to officials, even though Philadelphia is a good place for fugitives to hide, eventually authorities will catch up with them.
Delinquent child support payments are considered a criminal offense. But more than that, it is an affront to the well-being of a child and creates financial troubles for a custodial parent. If a parent is having trouble making payments, becoming a fugitive should not be an option. A paying parent can sit down with a former spouse and a family law professional and discuss the possibility of child support reduction or modification.
Making an adjustment to child support payments is not as unique as it may seem. It is a legal and viable way for a parent to still make payments without compromising the best interests of the child and his or her own financial situation. However, a Philadelphia parent should have a valid reason why payments need to be reduced or modified.
Source: 6abc.com, "Pre-dawn raids target deadbeat parents, others in Philadelphia, surrounding counties," April 11, 2014