Prosecuting Child Support: Advice From A Former Prosecutor

prosecuting child supportBy Nathan A. Hacker

Indianapolis Divorce Lawyer

Prior to joining Cordell & Cordell, I was a prosecuting attorney responsible for the prosecution of those who did not pay their child support.

Failing to pay child support is an easy conviction for any prosecutor, even if a jury is required as it is in some states.

Admittedly not a lot of lawyering skill is required to convince a jury of at least half women (most times it was two-thirds women) that a dad who didn’t pay his child support should be found guilty.

As a divorce lawyer for men, I repeatedly stress to my clients the importance of paying child support because I have that child support enforcement experience.

I know how a child support agency and prosecutors view an enforcement case, what their options are, how they are going to proceed, and how they are going to make their decision on whether to bring contempt or criminal charges.

Most prison sentences for failure to pay child support are short as these are not considered violent crimes and many prisons are overcrowded.

In most states, it’s not about pressing charges. As a prosecutor, I rarely sought “victim” approval from the person who was not receiving the child support payments, as it was not required. Prosecutors also rarely listen when the “victim” said, “I still love him. Dismiss the case. He’s not a bad guy.”

The state is the victim, as the government often had to pick up the tab on a child support payer who skipped out.

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If a term in the county lock-up or the state prison is not enough of a kick in the pants, you can also be charged the costs of extradition for your appearance at trial.

This not American Airlines first class, it’s not even Southwest. Most times it’s in a sheriff’s van and you are not only buying the gas and paying the deputy to drive you, but they are going to try to get a rental fee on the handcuffs as well.

If you have trouble paying child support, do not wait! Consider these options:

Motion to Reduce Child Support: If you cannot pay the current amount, consider filing a motion to reduce it. The standards and procedural requirements vary by state, but, in general, parents who genuinely cannot afford to pay (e.g., have lost a job or have significant student debt) will receive a reduced amount or a long-term payment plan. Contact a mens divorce attorney in your area for information about the rules applicable to you.

Three Year Support Review: By federal law since 1996, states receiving federal assistance must review child support orders every three years. Support payors and payees have a “one time pass” every three years to ask the court to review their current child support order. All they need to do is send a letter to the court to request it. Contact the court or child support administrator for your case to find out how your jurisdiction conducts the reviews.


Indiana divorce lawyerTo set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Indianapolis Divorce Lawyer Nathan A. Hacker, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Prosecuting Child Support: Advice From A Former Prosecutor

    its amazing. When my husbands ex-wife abandoned the children because of her alcholism and prostitution the children were awarded to my husband. She owed us thousands of dollars in child support and ashe eventually came back and no one would believe how the court believed every word she said. Even though we took care of the children full time and we didnt know if she was alive or dead for two years. We ended up paying for everyone of HER CHOICES. We ended up paying full price for guardian ad litem, the judge not only ruled thatshe didnt have to pay her arrears,,,HE WIPED THE SLATE CLEAN..she owed us over $8000. She never contributed to medical expenses, activities, child care either financially or even by simp[ly being there to support her childrem. As the children became 17 she was the easy out for them not to listen to our rules and consequences. the judge said can now live their because”they are almost 18″ and it is there choice. We have been forced to pay out of pocket expenses for college for his daughter to the elite Johnson and Wales college in RI because “that is where she wanted to go” even though she had a free ride to a satae college and could also have taken advantage of NJ STARZ program. My husband is a school teacher and works part time at a home improvement store at $10 an hour. He works 80 hours a week plus we still have full financial responibility for their younger son as he still lives with us and my children do as well. I am positive the judge is corrupt. His ex-wifes psychologist of ten years is considered the courst “family expert”.We are on the brink of bankruptcy. My husbands second son ran away from us and went to her even though she was only allowed supervised visitation because he was driving past the states provisional license law and my husband waned to ground him from driving for 2 days. not very extreme. We now have to pay $1000/child support for an 18 year old who is now failing high school since bening with his mother. plus another $250 for the arrears since the day we walked out of court my husband was in arrears because the order was retroactive. Plus college costs and child support for his older daughter. His ex wife harrasses us and is resposible for zero financially because she has been deemed disabled due to her alcoholism. What have we learned and their children been taught???? To not work…scam off the system and you will have all your bills paid and you wont have to work a day in your life. Please we have no money for attorneys anymore! But we need someone to help us and find out what is going on???AnneMaqrie Kretschmar 8483332878

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