Learning about federal child support enforcement laws

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Virginia residents embroiled in a child support dispute can sympathize with the plight of many custodial parents who are not receiving child support payments on a regular basis. In a case in which the custodial parent is from a low-income family, or even in a case in which the non-custodial parent was the sole breadwinner in the family prior to the divorce, the custodial parent often depends on the non-custodial parent's payments for the necessary expenses associated with a child's upbringing. In the event of a non-custodial parent who is repeatedly either late or doesn't meet the child support obligations at all, the custodial parent and the minor children can experience major financial hardship.

Virginia has several laws and enforcement agencies that can help the custodial parent to get the child support order enforced. In extreme, rare cases, the custodial parent can get help from federal agencies in order enforce the child support payment order under the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992. However, it must be noted that federal laws are enforced only in extreme cases in which the non-payment of child support can attract federal charges and offenses.

Under the CSRA, only misdemeanor charges can be pursued by the federal authorities. However, it was found throughout time that there with some non-custodial parents, especially those who had very little bond with the child or even the custodial parent, that mere misdemeanor charges did not act as an effective deterrent to the parent's defaulting behavior.

Thus, a new Act was established under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act in 1998, which helped federal authorities pursue not only misdemeanor charges, but also felony charges in extreme cases, which can help to obtain justice for the custodial parent and the minor children.

Source: Justice.gov, "Child support enforcement," Accessed on Aug. 13, 2015

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