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Criminal Non-Support Laws in US States

 

Many states have provisions for imposing criminal charges against those who continuously fail to pay child support that a court has ordered they pay.  The states differ in the classification that they give the crime, and more states classify the crime as misdemeanor than felony.  A misdemeanor crime carries a possible jail sentence of up to one year, and felony crimes carry the possibility of more than one year in prison.

 

According to the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, title 18 of the United States Code at section 228 provides for fines and imprisonment under federal law for parents who:

 

1.      willfully fail to pay support obligations with respect to a child who resides in another state, if the obligation remains unpaid for longet than one year or is greater than $5,000;

2.      attempts to evade a support obligation by traveling in interstate of foreign commerce if the obligation has remained unpaid for more than one year or is more than $5,000;

3.      willfully fails to pay support to a child who resides in another state, if the obligation has remained unpaid for longet than two years or is more than $10,000. There are other provisions that describe where these actions may be prosecuted and discuss mandatory restitution. 

 

State

Felony

Misdemeanor

Other-Footnotes

Alabama

 

X

 

Alaska

 

X

 

Arizona

Not reported

 

 

Arkansas

X

 

 

California

For certain situations

X

 

Colorado

X

 

 

Connecticut

 

X

a

Delaware

X

 

 

District of Columbia

 

 

b

Florida

 

 

c

Georgia

 

X

d

Guam

No criminal law

 

 

Hawaii

 

X

 

Idaho

X

 

 

Illinois

 

 

e

Indiana

X

 

 

Iowa

X

 

 

Kansas

X

 

 

Kentucky

X

X

 

Louisiana

 

X

 

Maine

 

X

 

Maryland

 

X

 

Massachusetts

X

 

 

Michigan

 

X

 

Minnesota

 

X

 

Mississippi

X

 

 

Missouri

 

 

f

Montana

X

X

 

Nebraska

X

X

 

Nevada

X

X

g

New Hampshire

X

 

h

New Jersey

 

X

 

New Mexico

X

 

 

New York

Class E felony

Class A misdemeanor

 

North Carolina

 

X

 

North Dakota

X

X

 

Ohio

X

X

 

Oklahoma

X

X

 

Oregon

 

X

 

Pennsylvania

 

 

i

Puerto Rico

 

X

 

Rhode Island

 

 

Did not report

South Carolina

 

X

 

South Dakota

X

X

 

Tennessee

X

 

 

Texas

X

 

 

Utah

X

X

 

Vermont

 

X

j

Virgin Islands

 

 

k

Virginia

X

 

 

Washington

 

X

 

West Virginia

X

X

l

Wisconsin

X

X

 

Wyoming

 

 

m

 

a.       Unclassified, not more than 1 year.

  1. The District of Columbia newly enacted a criminal contempt remedy that allows for imprisonment for up to 6 months.
  2. Effective October 1, 2001, criminal non-support is a misdemeanor, but could transition to a felony if certain criteria exist.
  3. Felony if the person leaves the state for the purpose of avoiding the payment of support.
  4. First offense is a misdemeanor.
  5. Criminal non-support is a class A misdemeanor unless the person obligated to pay child support commits the crime of non-support in each of six individual months within any 12-month period or the total arrearage is in excess of $5,000, in which case it is a class D felony.
  6.  Misdemeanor (non-supporting less than 6 months), Gross Misdemeanor (non-supporting 6 months to 1 year) and a felony (1 year or any subsequent offense).
  7. New Hampshire: “As of 2000, arrears of $10,000 or more and due for over 1 year or previous conviction for non-support.”
  8. Pennsylvania has a criminal law in effect, but they didn’t specify the classification.
  9.  Vermont is working on criminal non-support legislation for next session.
  10.  Virgin Islands have a criminal law in effect, but they didn’t specify the classification.
  11. In West Virginia, criminal non-support could be misdemeanor or felony, depending on amount owed.
  12.  Wyoming has a criminal law in effect, but they didn’t specify the classification.

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This 98 page E-Book is a complete guide to collecting child support. It includes information about child support agencies, working with attorneys and do-it-yourself methods to collect child support. Download How to Collect Child Support, 3rd Edition and begin to learn your legal rights about collecting child support. Learn More about Collecting Child Support

Child Support Collection

State by State Child Support Laws

Age of Emancipation

Attachable Income

Credit Bureau Reporting

Criminal Child Support laws

License Revocation

Child Support Collection Statue of Limitations

Child Support Laws History

Federal Child Support Laws

Federal Child Support Laws and Codes Explained

Child Support Laws Table of Contents

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