Child Support Enforcement and Federal Criminal Law
by: Jean Mahserjian
Child support enforcement is a growing area of family law. Once child support has been ordered by a Court, or agreed upon by two parents, it is not always smooth sailing. Although we hear a lot about “deadbeat parents” (and there are both moms and dads who are deadbeats), the overwhelming majority of parents pay support and take care of their children as agreed upon or ordered. But, when that is not the case, you have to know how child support enforcement works.
Child support enforcmement in one form or another is available in every state for collecting against deadbeat parents. Those child support enforcement remedies include wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds, suspending a driver’s or professional license, and more.
In addition to the child support enforcement remedies that the individual states provide, the is a federal remedy which is often overlooked, but which is very effective. That child support enforcement remedy is the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992.
Under the Child Support Recovery Act, the failure to pay child support, if willful, is a federal crime if the parent who owes support lives in a different state than the parent who is receiving the support. Relying on this criminal statute can be a very effect child support enforcement tool.
The purpose of the Federal Child Support Recovery Act was to prevent a parent from moving to a different state or a foreign jurisdiction for the purpose of evading a child support order. However, since we live in an incredibly mobile society, it is not unusual to have a support paying parent in one state and a support receiving parent living in another state...