The term “deadbeat parents” is well understood by most providers in Florida and other states who fulfill their family responsibilities by caring adequately for their children. There are certainly situations in which loving and well-intentioned parents simply run into difficulties providing agreed-upon child support payments for their children — for example, illness or a lost job. Circumstances such as these, however, do not often thrust a non-custodial parent with support duties into the realm of deadbeat parent.
“You’re talking about a willful intent to avoid paying for children … for providing the basics that they so deserve,” says Deputy Inspector General Gerald Roy of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) department
The HHS frowns on that and, although child support collection is typically a state-level matter, the agency does get involved under certain circumstances. Those include the following:
- Noncustodial parent fails to provide support for more than one year and lives in different state than child/children
- Noncustodial parent owes more than $5,000 in support and lives in different state than child/children
- Noncustodial parent moves out of state to avoid paying child support
State and federal enforcement agents say that such parents are both motivated to avoid arrest and skilled at eluding authorities. To even the odds, the federal government has augmented its efforts by adding a tool it hopes will help appreciably in tracking down the most egregious offenders.
That tool is a federal website under the aegis of the HHS that provides the names and pictures of felons who the government has denoted as being ultra-deadbeat parents. Leading the list currently is an individual who the government states owes more than $1 million in child support.
Federal investigators have recovered more than $30 million from over 500 non-payers since 2006.
Source: WAVY, “Government goes after deadbeat parents” Jan. 18, 2012