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Prison sentences possible for deadbeat parents

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2017 | Divorce

Law at the federal level is designed to meet the needs of parents in Kentucky who are owed child support by people who have moved out of state. Known as the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, the law establishes that people willfully avoiding child support obligations can face prison sentences and be required to pay the outstanding balances owed to their children.

The force of the DPPA comes into effect when individuals choose to move out of state with the intention of avoiding the payment of child support. Those who have failed to pay for over one year and owe over $5,000 or have not paid for over two years and owe more than $10,000 can be prosecuted under the law.

Courts can impose penalties of imprisonment up to six months for the first offense or imprisonment up to two years for the second offense. A court might also order that the parent make restitution of all amounts owed. The act allows for flexibility on which courts may hear cases related to unpaid child support by out-of-state parents. A court where the child lives or where the parent has lived may rule on the case. Any federal court could handle the issue as well.

Someone dealing with a noncustodial parent who has moved away and ceased child support payments might reach out to an attorney for assistance. When seeking enforcement action, an attorney could cite the court order from the divorce settlement that specifically explains the child support payment schedule. An attorney could file the request with the local family court and contact applicable out-of-state agencies to initiate legal action against the noncustodial parent. The attorney’s efforts might recoup child support by gaining court approval to garnish wages or place a lien on property.