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Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act [DPPA] Law — Legal Definition

November 2, 2014

Author’s Note:

Check out what good ole Bill Clinton did for the American public! The problem is that too many State prosecutors sit on their asses and ignore the law, probably because their budget does not allow for Deadbeat Dad law enforcement. What actually happens to the government funds that are supposed to go to your local child support enforcement? Hummm…

Even though Bill’s law is an amendment to the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, it addresses interstate cases only and doesn’t address what a person can do to get a deadbeat parent to pay within the state.

Another loophole to allow deadbeat dads off the gaff?

What if the Deadbeat Dad owes over $90,000 in child support and another $45,000 in alimony, such as in my case? What happens when a parent attempts to get Child Support Enforcement, local law enforcement AND the State’s Attorney to prosecute a Deadbeat Dad who is not within the legal definition of the DPPA because nobody has crossed state lines of the jurisdiction of where the case originated? What? No funding?

I am still waiting, after repeated attempts to get the State to enforce the child support and alimony orders, per statute, since 1997. While a hearing is pending a Court order to “Set Payment to Arrears”, I do not consider this justice when State statues define the slacker in my life as a felonious, well, deadbeat dad who owes considerably more than the $2,5000 in child support threshold set by statute — which has remained unpaid since, well, 1997. All the while, this man is amassing new homes, luxury items, and traveling to exotic locations … and laughing all the way to the bank. 

Read how I garnished over 16 bank accounts and collected a small portion of the arrears, how a deadbeat dad’s refusal to pay causes serious repercussions in our now-adult children (one who shot himself in the head on purpose), and how this angry mother is raising public awareness of how the State and local enforcement agencies turn a blind eye to justice…again, and again, and again…with serious consequences to not only my family but the community as a whole.

Let’s explore the law together in upcoming articles in The Just Call Me Charley Blog where I’ll get down and dirty… Stay tuned! 

If you are a parent attempting to collect past due child support and/or alimony, I want to hear from you! Please post a comment below. 

Author’s Update:

I successfully collected over 95 percent of the support since I last posted this article. The only monies that remain are mandatory interest and costs for enforcing the judgment. I hope my readers will send me their updates, as well. To date, not including my own judgments, I have helped Pro se litigants worldwide to collect over $750,000 (that’s 3/4 of a million dollars) in unpaid support over two years. As always, I do not require even one penny for directing readers to their local, state and federal collections guidelines, statutes, and codes —  or for holding their hand throughout the process. In helping the children caught in the middle of parental feuds, I apparently have muffled some feathers along the way. However, in the best interest of children everywhere, I applaud the fortitude of my readers. And, by the way, it is not only Dads who owe child support. There are some Moms who were Court Ordered to pay support and tried to move out of state to avoid payment, as well. The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act applies to “parents” — not just men…

*  *  *

Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act [DPPA] Law & Legal Definition

Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act is a Federal statute that makes it a felony for parents to cross state lines with the intention of getting out of child support payments. It also provides strict guidelines for the punishment of these so-called deadbeat parents. The term “deadbeat parents” refers to parents who have failed to pay the required child support payments.

The Act provides felony penalties if :

1. a person travels across state lines intending to evade a child-support obligation that is over $5,000 or that has remained unpaid longer than one year, or

2. a person willfully fails to pay support for a child living in a different state if that obligation is greater than $10,000 or if it remains unpaid for more than two years.

In addition to these punishments, a parent found to be in violation of his or her legal obligation to support his or her children will be placed on probation. Violation of the probation terms will result in additional jail time. The specific terms of deadbeat probation include:

  • The parent must financially support his or her children, as per their legal obligation.
  • The parent must pursue employment in order to continue making the support payments. If the parent is unemployed, he or she will perform community service.
  • The parent will appear at all necessary court functions, specifically child support hearings.

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1998, as an amendment to the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992.

via Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act [DPPA] Law & Legal Definition.

Oh, There’s More!

U.S. Code› Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 11A › § 228

18 U.S. Code § 228 – Failure to pay legal child support obligations

Current through Pub. L. 113-185. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

 (a) Offense.— Any person who—

(1) willfully fails to pay a support obligation with respect to a child who resides in another State, if such obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 1 year, or is greater than $5,000;

(2) travels in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to evade a support obligation, if such obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 1 year, or is greater than $5,000; or

(3) willfully fails to pay a support obligation with respect to a child who resides in another State, if such obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 2 years, or is greater than $10,000;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (c).

(b) Presumption.— The existence of a support obligation that was in effect for the time period charged in the indictment or information creates a rebuttable presumption that the obligor has the ability to pay the support obligation for that time period.

(c) Punishment.— The punishment for an offense under this section is—

(1) in the case of a first offense under subsection (a)(1), a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both; and

(2) in the case of an offense under paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a), or a second or subsequent offense under subsection (a)(1), a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

(d) Mandatory Restitution.— Upon a conviction under this section, the court shall order restitution under section3663A in an amount equal to the total unpaid support obligation as it exists at the time of sentencing.

(e) Venue.— With respect to an offense under this section, an action may be inquired of and prosecuted in a district court of the United States for—

(1) the district in which the child who is the subject of the support obligation involved resided during a period during which a person described in subsection (a) (referred to in this subsection as an “obliger”) failed to meet that support obligation;

(2) the district in which the obliger resided during a period described in paragraph (1); or

(3) any other district with jurisdiction otherwise provided for by law.

 (f) Definitions.— As used in this section—

(1) the term “Indian tribe” has the meaning given that term in section 102 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a);

(2) the term “State” includes any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States; and

(3) the term “support obligation” means any amount determined under a court order or an order of an administrative process pursuant to the law of a State or of an Indian tribe to be due from a person for the support and maintenance of a child or of a child and the parent with whom the child is living.


(Added Pub. L. 102–521, § 2(a), Oct. 25, 1992, 106 Stat. 3403; amended Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(l), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3512Pub. L. 105–187, § 2, June 24, 1998, 112 Stat. 618.)


1998—Pub. L. 105–187 reenacted section catchline without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (d) relating to a description of the offense, punishment for an offense, restitution upon conviction of an offense, and definitions of terms used in this section.

1996—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 104–294 inserted “commonwealth,” before “possession or territory of the United States”.

Short Title of 1998 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–187, § 1,June 24, 1998, 112 Stat. 618, provided that: “This Act [amending this section] may be cited as the ‘Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998’.”

Short Title

Pub. L. 102–521, § 1,Oct. 25, 1992, 106 Stat. 3403, provided that: “This Act [enacting this section and sections3796cc to 3796cc–6 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, amending section 3563 of this title and section 3797 of Title 42, and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 12301 of Title 42] may be cited as the ‘Child Support Recovery Act of 1992’.”

  1. Good stuff. This can be a successfull web page that everybody need to attempt and model their very own on. Excellent work keep it up.

  2. Becky Clapsaddle permalink

    Hi Charley. Just happened upon your post and would love to know how things are going. I too am fighting to collect over $100,000 of child support arrearages and having a VERY difficult time. He has a good job, takes 2 or 3 vacations per year with his girlfriend, has bought a couple new campers, motorcycle, boat and trailer, etc. but not paid his arrearages even though I have a court order for him to pay. I would definitely like to found out what you have been doing to try to get them to prosecute and any case law you might have. Thanks!

  3. Rosa permalink

    My ex owes $61,000 in child support arrears. He declares he is indigent. He continues to wait tables at the Ihop restaurant. I do not understand why a judge continues to let him get by with this. The judge does not seem to care about holding this man accountable for bringing a life on this earth.

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Yes I am living in Florida. My ex moved to new jersey to avoid child support. I contacted my government /governor Rick Scott he has helped me immensely. Thank you governor Scott!

  5. MDMommyof3 permalink

    Stumbled across your page after hearing today that my ex has yet again found another loop hole to avoid paying/delay paying child support in Maryland. He is almost $20,000 in arrears and has even gone to the extent of admitting himself into rehab to get a continuance for his contempt hearing. I have hired attorneys in the past, but as soon as orders are established, he finds another way to beat the system. Thought, I would leave it the state to go after him this time, only to get an “extension” granted to him. US Attorneys office says they are unable to help as well.

    I wish the best and every other parent struggling to provide for their children. Will definitely keep an eye on this blog for updates or maybe some tips for Maryland enforcement.

    • Dear Mother of Three,

      You need to Request a Hearing with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in your jurisdiction and file a Motion for Judgment — Child Support Arrears. If you have unpaid medical expenses and alimony that were calculated during setting his monthly child support amount, these amounts should be included as a combined judgment for child support. You do not need an attorney. File with your Motion a copy of the original order, any payments collected, and a table showing the balance due. You may also include any correspondence you have based on your unsuccessful collections attempts and request in your motion a prayer for contempt.

      Next, and only after you have your money judgment, make an appointment with your local Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement Agency. Their fee is $25.00. Fill out the application and include a copy of the original order, payments received, and outstanding balance. At this time you can include the Interest on Judgment Principle, calculated at 10% (Principle times .10 times number of days divided by 365). The interest on child support is mandatory simple interest.

      They will request a hearing and set the past due amount to arrears and request a monthly payment amount. CSEA will begin collecting payments from the Deadbeat Dad and you will receive payment directly on an EPIC Visa Debit Card. They can perform an employment search and issue a wage garnishment. They will also, after 90 days of no payment) begin administrative collection procedures. This will include having his passport suspended or denied if the amount is over $2,500. They can also suspend his driver’s license, and if he has one, his contractor’s license or professional license. And if he should ever expect a tax refund, they will garnish that, as well!

      Now that you have a money judgment and considered a Judgment Creditor, you can go to his bank and lien his accounts by filing with the Clerk a Request for Garnishment – Other Than Wages. They can provide the forms for you or if you want, I can provide links that you can follow and download your own forms directly onto your computer and fill them out and print them. You must service the requests by certified mail, return receipt requested and file proof of delivery along with an Affidavit of Service to the Court. At that time, request another hearing. You do not need an attorney. If you are not sure of which bank, do as I did: For $15 per garnishment request, file one for every financial institution you think he might hold an account. For $415, my efforts reaped $29,030. My Deadbeat Parent was not at all happy, but within 60 days, I had collected a good portion of the outstanding $145,000 he owed me.

      As for my own story, CSEA collected over $52,000 during which time interest continued to accrue. I am almost at the end of my own story. Roughly $7,000 in unpaid interest and principle, I am about to file another application with CSEA, just in time for tax intercept time. As for the passport suspension, I have to laugh when I tell you that he was at the airport with a large group, expecting to leave the country for an extended vacation. Can you just imagine the look on his face when they pulled him into the room and said that he could not leave the country? At that very moment, he contacted CSEA over the phone and arranged for a $6,000 payment.

      Hit ‘m where it hurts — his pride and ego! Don’t stop until you’ve collected all your money. If you want more free help and one-on-one assistance with your case, just drop me a line at I reply to all emails.

      Good luck, and don’t let this beat you down!

  6. David permalink

    Hello Charley , he is a brief summary of my fiasco with my ex wife not paying child support. I have a court order for her to pay child support. In trying not to get ugly I waited 3 yrs before getting g the state involved . In almost 6 yrs I have only received roughly 3900$ in child support (3 payments the first was 150$ 2nd was 3700 her income tax and the 3rd was 50$ ). She owes right at 20k and still counting . The state of GA has not been much help at all . She now lives in Alabama ( which is who made her pay what she has . I have had absolutely no luck with GA assisting with this as I keep getting answers like this is a long process because of the other state. I went so far as to contact Alabama to find out that GA hasn’t requested child support since August of last yr. When I confronted GA about this I was told that contacting the other state will lead in to closing my case for failure to cooperate. I have received 2 emails about this in less than 7 days. Futhermore she not only fails to attempt to pay anything but refuses to call or contact my children in anyway for now going on 11 months . My youngest girl has serious mental health issues that the psychologist says is partially a direct result of her bouncing in and out of their lives . I’m at my witts end . She had them for the first 8 years of their lives until the state of GA removed them for child deprivation and child neglect . I paid her child support for those 8 yrs with no questions asked. Why is it that if a man goes 2 months with failure to pay he is put in jail no questions asked. But she is running around without a care in the world. Supposedly it’s hard to find her (in 3yrs ) . But it didn’t take that long to find Bin Laden . Either GA is not putting the effort in to this because she is a female , or the CIA needs to hire her for undercover work . She has an other child that she snatched from her husband after he left her that was removed from her custody when my 2 girls were removed from her custody As well. So even with a minor enrolled in a public school system in the state of Alabama , it is impossible to find her . What can I do to MAKE HER HELP ME SUPPORT OUR CHILDREN??? Any advice is greatly appreciated

    • David,

      Please email me at… I would like to learn a little more about this. I have some good pointers to follow, as well, to help you collect your unpaid support.

      I look forward to hearing from you!

    • Dear David,

      I am sorry that I have not been attending my blog for a while. I read your story and my heart bleeds for you and your children. I know how difficult it is to raise children as a single parent during these difficult times.

      I would like to refer you to the Deadbeat Dads article in my blog. You can use the Search window at the upper right hand corner of the page. Unfortunately, it appears that Dads have gotten the “bad wrap” when it comes to a parent — who sometimes is a mother — who has ABANDONED their child(ren). The Deadbeat Dads law involves a parent who lives in a different state and has eluded child support enforcement for the state in which their children live and who owes more than $2,500.00.

      Otherwise, I will tell you this: The Child Support Enforcement Agency in your state is supposed to work with out-of-state child support agencies. I suggest that you have the child support enforcement agency in your jurisdiction locate the mother. They say that is your responsibility, but since they have the ability to lien their tax returns (as you apparently know), they in a sense can find at least where her money is through taxes and/or new employee listings with employers who are required to report new hires.

      This seems to be a very involved case. Please email me at Please know that I am not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice. What I can do is to inform you about the law and give you free guidance on how to pursue the matter yourself without paying high dollars for an attorney. I will guide you to applicable law. Also know that I have so many people who have written to me. Jess, A Fellow Maryland Mom, is at the top of my list. You are second.I am struggling to earn a living myself as well as keep on top of my ProBono work. I am determined to help you. So write to me.

      I look forward to hearing back from you with more details. If you would like to email me your case number, county and state of jurisdiction and full names of the Parties, I will look into it. But, I do have more information to offer by email that could be of help to you in the meantime.


  7. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  8. Thank you, Chicago Lawyer! Please let me know of any other subject matter you might find helpful!

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