Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act

What to Know About the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act

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What is the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act?

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act (DPPA) is a federal child support law that was established in 1998 to punish parents who willfully fail to make child support payments by traveling to another state to avoid making child support payments. Here is some more information about child support laws and the DPPA:

Who Can Be Punished Under the DPPA?

Parents that can be punished under the DPPA include those who travel to another state intending to avoid child support payments and who:

  • Fail to make child support payments for longer than a year and the amount owed is more than $5,000
    or
  • Fail to make child support for longer than two years and the amount owed is more than $10,000

What Are the Punishments Under the DPPA?

Punishment under the DPPA include:

  • 1st Offense: Imprisonment for six months or less
  • 2nd Offense: Imprisonment for up to two years
  • Restitution: In addition to imprisonment, a court may order a parent to pay back child support payments in an amount equal to the arrearage

Where Can I File a Child Support Case Using the DPPA?

A DPPA case can be heard in the following places:

  • Where the child lives and the state where the child has not received child support
  • Where the parent has lived
  • Any other federal court

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act was established to enforce child support payments from child support obligors who travel between states. For more information about child support laws and the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, speak with a qualified attorney in your state refer to your state's child support guidelines.