Houston man in unusual child support case turns himself in

The father claims he was unfairly sentenced to 180 days in jail after allegedly paying too much child support
January 21, 2014 10:07:33 AM PST
A battle over child support has landed a Houston man a jail sentence, but what makes this unusual is the man claims it's not because he didn't pay. He says it's because he overpaid.

Clifford Hall walked into court this morning to turn himself in. He and his attorney say they're planning to ask a civil court judge to reconsider an order sending him to jail.

Hall's child support issues began getting national and major social media attention after he and his attorney began speaking out this month. The 43-year-old father claims he was unfairly sentenced to 180 days in jail after allegedly paying too much child support and seeing his 11-year-old son too much.

Court documents show a judge ordered Hall in contempt back in December after the determining he owed for inconsistent payments over several months.

Hall and his attorney say the state never notified his employer of a court ordered increase. And once receiving notice about the arrears, Hall claims not only immediately paid up, but overpaid.

Hall says he's also being punished for violating court ordered visitation orders by picking his son up from school and keeping him too long over Christmas.

Hall walked out of the courtroom during his last hearing and has been keeping a low profile with the lingering jail sentence. We spoke with him a few days ago about his child support issues.

"I can understand if you are not doing," he said during that conversation. "If you're not doing, you know, hey, whatever then, but this is in no way in the best interest of the child, not when you have parents who are active and involved in their child's life."

KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy has a different take on Hall's child support troubles. He says it's the parents' duty to make sure the proper amounts are being deducted from payroll each month.

"My take on it is that you have a deadbeat father that's trying to blame the system for his own failures," said Androphy. "When you can't keep track of what you owe for your child, there is something wrong about the parental relationship there, and you almost deserve what you get."

It's up to a judge whether or not to grant a continuance that could keep him out of jail for a period of time or if she sends him to jail today.

Find Demond on Facebook at ABC13DemondFernandez or on Twitter at @demondfernandez

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