In September of 2004, the U.S. Marshals arrested a man who had
fled child support payments long enough to accumulate $120,000 in missed
payments. He had been in 6 different states in his attempt to evade
arrest. He now faces 2 years in prison and a quarter million dollars
in fines - in addition to the child support he owes. Don't take my
word for it, check out the full story by clicking
There are things that can now be done about non-payment of child support.
As that article states, the Federal government can be asked to step
into any case where the non-support exceeds $5,000. The case becomes
a Felony at $10,000. If a warrant is issued, the U.S. Marshals don't
have to wait for the person to violate a traffic law in order to pick them
Non-custodial parents really should take care to pay their court ordered
child support, and pay it on time. If you honestly have a financial
situation that will not allow you to pay, it is your responsibility to be
in touch with the court and petition for an adjustment. If the petition
for a change is delayed until a serious arrearage is accumulated, the court
may decline to grant the request.
Custodial parents who are owed back child support should contact
the Child Support Enforcement Department in the state where they and the
child reside. The Administration for
Children & Families has a website listing every state's child support
offices. If your non-custodial, non-paying former partner is in another
state, your local state will have the case verified and then move the jurisdiction
to the state where the other party resides, regardless of the state in which
your child support order was established.
It may be difficult to stand up for one's self, for many reasons. Perhaps
there is a history of being diminished by the other person, either verbal
or physical abuse. Perhaps the custodial parent has a self esteem problem.
Perhaps there is a sob story that caused you to allow the other person
to "slide" when it may or may not have been the financial truth. But,
the fact is, that the money is owed to your child, not yourself. Many
people have the ability to stand firm when it comes to defending their child
when they don't stand up for themselves.
In my case, that's how it is. I've long given up looking for justice
for myself in that former relationship. It will never happen, given
the state of communication that didn't exist for so many years even before
the end of the cohabitation and eventual divorce. But, I know I can
stay with this task until there is justice for my child.