What is the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998?

Definition of the DPPA

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Definition:

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act (DPPA) was established in 1998 to supplement the Child Support Recovery Act (CSRA) of 1992. Under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, individuals who willfully choose not to pay child support to a child who resides in another state may face federal prosecution. Under this federal child support law:

  • Parents who have not paid child support to a child who resides in another state in more than 12 months, or who owe more than $5,000 in unpaid child support, may face up to six months in prison.
  • Parents who have not paid child support to a child who resides in another state in more than 24 months, or who owe more than $10,000 in unpaid child support, may face up to two years in prison.
  • Parents charged under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act may also be forced to pay restitution equal to the total amount of child support they owe at the time sentencing takes place.

The goal of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act is to discourage parents from moving out of state for the purpose of evading child support.

References:

"Child Support Enforcement." U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Jan. 2011. http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/child_support.htm.

Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998. 18 USC. Sec. 228. 1998. PDF file.