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Child support payments and the DPPA

California custodial parents who are not receiving child support might wonder what options are available to them. If the other parent has moved out of state to avoid payments and if certain other conditions apply, it might be possible to prosecute the parent under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act. This federal law was established in 1998.

The other necessary conditions for using the DPPA are that it must have been more than a year since the parent paid support and the parent must owe over $5,000 or it must have more than two years and the parent must owe more than $10,000. For a first offense, a parent may be imprisoned for up to six months. The parent might serve up to two years for a second offense.

A parent who wishes to use the DPPA in a child support case may file in the state where the child or parent lives or in any federal court. Individuals may want to speak to an attorney to find out more about California child support guidelines.

Child support is generally paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent, and in California, a number of factors are taken into account for calculation of child support including the income of both parents and expenses such as day care and health insurance. A legally binding child support agreement is important because it gives the parent who is receiving child support access to local and federal resources for enforcing the child support payments. If the parent paying support loses their job or has another change in circumstances that results in an inability to pay support, they cannot simply stop paying or pay less. The parent must return to court and request a modification of the order.

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