Depending on their situation, parents in Florida who owe back child support payments may be held accountable in multiple ways. A 1998 federal child support law, the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, or DPPA, can be used to punish parents who purposely go to another state in order to avoid paying child support.
The parents who can be penalized include those who go to another state in order to not pay child support, who fail to make the payment for more than a year and are more than $5,000 in arrears. Parents can also be held responsible for relocating to another state, not making payments for more than two years and owing more than $10,000 in child support payments.
Punishment under the DPPA can include incarceration and restitution. Parents may be remanded for six months or less for their first offense and up to two years for a second offense. The court can also require that a delinquent parent make restitution in the amount that is equal to child support that is in arrears.
Parents who are owed back child support have multiple options when it comes to filing a child support case using the DPPA. Cases related to the DPPA can be heard in any federal court. Parents seeking payment may also opt to have their cases heard where the child resides and the state where the child did not receive child support. Cases can also be filed where the parent has resided.
Parents should seek the services of an attorney who has family law experiemce for assistance with resolving issues related to the child support or divorce. The attorney may work to ensure that a client's rights are protected during litigation or negotiation procedures that pertain to the collections of overdue child support payments or any changes to a current child support order.