Recently, an office of the federal government introduced a new tool which it hopes will help the federal government in its fight against child support delinquency. The office in question is the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the new tool in question is a website.
In most cases, child support matters solely fall under the jurisdiction of state governments. However, the federal government can have jurisdiction in child support matters when certain circumstances are present. Examples of child support situations in which the federal government does have the jurisdiction to intervene include:
- when a noncustodial parent allegedly fled a state or the country to avoid making child support payments.
- when a noncustodial parent who lives in a different state than his or her children has allegedly failed to make his or her child support payments for over a year.
- when a noncustodial parent who lives in a different state than his or her children allegedly is behind on his or her child support payments by more than $5,000.
The website that the OIG of the HHS recently unveiled is reportedly aimed at trying to help the federal government in its fight against child support delinquency that falls under its jurisdiction by enlisting the public's help in locating individuals who allegedly are delinquent on their child support payments in ways that trigger the federal government's jurisdiction.
The website reportedly includes an online form that members of the public can use to submit tips regarding the locations of individuals who allegedly are delinquent on their child support payments. The website also reportedly includes photos and information of various individuals who allegedly are delinquent on their child support payments who are on the OIG's "most wanted" list.
As this matter illustrates, governments will often try many different methods to address the issue of child support delinquency. It will be interesting to see if the above-mentioned website does in fact help the federal government in its child support enforcement efforts and, if it does, whether state governments will develop similar websites to try to aid in their child support enforcement efforts.
Source: Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "OIG Launches Child Support Enforcement Web Page: Introduces 'most wanted' list of deadbeat parents," Jan. 17, 2012