The Child Support Recovery Act, well known as the "deadbeat-dad" law, makes it a federal crime to flee a state in order to avoid paying child support arrearages. The law applies to any parent who owes more than $5,000 in back child support payments or who has failed to pay on the arrearage due for more than one year.
The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act was passed in 1998 to amend the Child Support Recovery Act by making it a felony to fail to pay to pay child support for a child located in another state.
When an emergency arises, courts in any State have the power to enter a temporary order of custody under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Under the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, the court in the state where the child lives has primary and continuing jurisdiction over the custody of a child, and it may issue a permanent change in custody, whether or not there is an emergency.
In order to properly determine a parent’s child support obligation, it is important for the court to know what the parent actually earns. Tax returns reveal not only what a parent has historically made, but may also reveal amounts the parent has been concealing or if the parent is intentionally impoverishing him or herself.
An order for child support may be entered in connection with a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance, or child support. A court considers many factors including the financial resources of the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. The order can require either parent or both parents to pay child support. Parents are equally responsible for the support of the children. Child support consists of a combination of periodic monetary support, the maintenance of health care insurance for the benefit of children, the payment of educational expenses of children, and the provision of various forms of security for support to protect against the payer’s death, disability, or voluntary nonpayment. One parent can sue another parent in civil court for child support.