Child support in the United States

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Regardless of the marital status, refusal to pay child support can result in both civil & criminal contempt.

Crime[edit | edit source]

While state agencies address non-payment of child support, there exist federal statutes criminalizing refusal to pay child support. According to 18 U.S. Code § 228, non-payment of a legal child support obligation is a criminal offense. To meet the criminal threshold, the back child support amount must exceed $5,000 (as of 2023) 18 U.S.C. § 228 (a)(1).

Cooperation among states[edit | edit source]

Inter-state enforcement of child support is laid out in federal code: 42 U.S.C. § 666(a)(9)(B).

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)[edit | edit source]

Under Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA 2008), if either parent still resides in the state that issued a child-support order, then only the state which issued the order has the jurisdiction to modify it.

Cases[edit | edit source]