Dad begins jail sentence in complicated child support case

HOUSTON -  The embattled father in the center of a complicated child support case which has captured national attention was taken into custody Tuesday in order to begin serving a six-month jail sentence.

Clifford Hall showed up to the Harris County civil courthouse prepared to serve his jail time.
Hall fell behind and owed more than $3,000 in child support, but his attorneys claim the money was garnished not from his paycheck, but his employer.

The company did not submit the money to the court for his son and ex-wife to collect.

Hall eventually paid what was due plus an extra $1,000, but by that time a change in the law made it impossible for him to avoid jail time. Hall is also facing accusations that he did not follow a court-ordered visitation schedule and kept the mother away from his son longer than allowed.

The case was appealed to the 14th Court of Appeals. Hall was unsuccessful and was ordered to begin serving a jail sentence.

"It's a horrible feeling and it makes me sick to my stomach but I have to do it," Hall said. "I don't know how it got like this, but I just want to move forward with my life."

Hall and his attorney hope his story can become a cautionary tale.

"We just want all the parents out there to know that when you have a child support obligation to make sure that the monies are going to the places where it should go," attorney Erika Watson said.

Hall's attorney hopes the judge will consider suspending the jail sentence and free the dad immediately so he can continue spending time with his son and working to make child support payments.

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