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Understanding the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act

Michigan residents may have heard about the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act. It was created in 1998 to penalize those who travel to another state in an effort to willfully avoid paying child support. Parents may be punished if they cross state lines for the purposes of avoiding support payments, fail to make payments for more than a year and owe more than $5,000.

Those who fail to make payments for two years and who owe more than $10,000 may also face penalties under the DPPA. A first offense can result in a six-month prison sentence while a second offense can lead to a year in prison. Furthermore, parents may be ordered to pay restitution equal to the back support owed. Cases may be filed in any state where a parent has lived, where the child current lives or the state where the child lives who hasn’t received support. Cases can also be filed in any federal court.

Parents may be ordered to pay child support as doing so is generally in the best interest of the child. Support payments may help pay for basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. They may also be used to pay for expenses related to a child’s education or other reasonable costs.

Mothers or fathers who are owed back child support may wish to talk with an attorney. He or she may provide more information as to where legal action may be taken against noncustodial parents who have failed to pay support as ordered. Those who are required to make payments may also wish to seek the advice of an attorney. In some cases, it may be possible to ask that a current support order be modified to better reflect his or her financial situation and ability to pay.