After child support orders are issued in some Illinois cases, the parents who are ordered to pay child support try to do everything that they can to avoid their obligations. Some parents try to evade their child support orders by moving out of state. When they do, they may be punished under federal law.

Passed in 1998, the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act provides penalties for parents who move to other states in attempts to avoid paying child support. Parents who move with the intent to avoid paying child support and who don’t make payments for one year or longer may be convicted if they owe $5,000 or more. Parents who move to evade child support and who haven’t made payments for two years or more totaling at least $10,000 also may be convicted under the act.

A case may be filed where the parent lives. It may also be filed in the jurisdiction where the child lives or where the child support was ordered. Finally, a case may be filed under the act in any federal court. In addition to being ordered to pay restitution in the amount of the owed child support, parents who are convicted of first offenses may be jailed for up to six months. Parents who are convicted of second offenses may be sentenced to spend up to two years in jail.

Child support obligations do not disappear, and arrears amounts must be paid. People whose financial circumstances have changed to a degree that they are unable to afford their current amounts might want to talk to family law attorneys about modifying their child support orders with the court. Parents who are owed child support by deadbeats may want to ask for help in recovering the money that they are owed from their family law attorneys.