What happens to child support when a non-custodial parent moves out of state? The requirement to pay child support does not end at the state line.
Non-custodial parents must continue paying child support regardless of their place of residence. If a parent is not able to pay child support, or if they refuse to pay, there are consequences.
Federal enforcement of child support
Because more than one state is involved, the enforcement of the court-ordered child support falls under the “Uniform Federal Family Support Act.” If the non-custodial parent doesn’t leave a forwarding address with New Jersey or Pennsylvania, then the “Federal Parent Locator Service” can help find them.
What are the consequences of failing to pay child support?
Failing to pay child support could result in the following actions being taken by the Bureau of Child Support (BCSA) in Pennsylvania, or the Division of Family Development (DFD) in New Jersey:
- Publication: Name could appear in the newspaper as a delinquent parent
- Reporting: Negative report issued to credit bureaus
- Loss of privileges: Passport denial
- Loss of licenses: driver’s, professional, and recreational
- Monetary seizures: Lottery winnings, federal and state income tax returns, personal injury or workers’ compensation payments, bank accounts, and a lien against real or personal property
- Civil Contempt: Up to 6 months in jail, $500 fine, and/or six months of probation
Simply put: Child support is not optional, and a parent isn’t relieved of their obligation to pay just because they crossed state lines. The authorities can, and will, catch up.
If you are concerned about an enforcement issue, it is always best to work closely with an advocate who is experienced in child support matters. Every child deserves to have their parent’s financial support.