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Federal law pertaining to child support could land dad in jail

Violation of a child support agreement can lead to serious consequences, including jail time in some cases. If a Pennsylvania parent falls behind in child support payments for any reason, understanding the consequences is vital. It is also vital to know about a federal law pertaining to back due support and the ability to move to another state, as moving away has led to possible jail for one dad in particular.

The case currently making news involves a father who was behind more than $90,000 in child support payments. The 51-year-old man was making reduced payments for some time. Then, he stopped making payments all together in 2012. The man also moved from one state to another.

While each state has its own penalties for back due support or failure to abide by a child support order, there is a federal law that says if a parent is behind more than $10,000, that parent cannot maintain residence in another state. The violation of the law can result in two years of prison time in a federal facility. Also, the man may have to pay a fine of $250,000.

This case highlights the costly consequences of falling behind in child support payments and moving to another state while owing that amount of support. Any Pennsylvania parent who feels that a current agreement to pay child support is impossible or difficult to live up to because of certain circumstances may inquire about what factors can warrant a modification. A modification to a child support order can be sought when there is a drastic change in income or under other circumstances that the court deems relevant.

Source: pressherald.com, "Florida man faces jail time for unpaid child support in Maine", Sept. 18, 2015

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