Criminal Nonsupport and Child Support

6/8/2015

judge using gavelParents have a legal obligation to provide support for their children and failure to provide such support is considered a crime against the state, generally known as criminal nonsupport.

Criminal nonsupport statutes exist, in some form, in all 50 states. The severity of the punishments range from misdemeanors with small fines and short jail sentences to felonies with high fines and lengthy prison terms. While the elements of the statutes vary from state to state, generally a state must prove that (1) the defendant acted knowingly or intentionally; and (2) the defendant failed to provide support.

The chart below outlines the type of crime and the maximum penalties available for criminal nonsupport in all 50 states.

50-State Criminal Non-Support Laws

State

Citation

Crime

Maximum Penalty

Alabama

Ala. Code § 13A-13-4

Ala. Code § 13A-5-7

Ala. Code § 13A-5-12

Class A Misdemeanor

1 year, $6,000 fine

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 11.51.120

Alaska Stat. § 12.55.035

Alaska Stat. § 12.55.135

Alaska Stat. § 12.55.125

Class A Misdemeanor

 

Class C Felony ($20,000 arrearage, or 24+ months w/ no payment. 
If the obligor has a previous conviction $5,000 arrearage, or 6+ months w/ no payment.)

1 year, $10,000 fine, loss of recreational license;

 

5 years, $50,000 loss of recreational license

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-511

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-604

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-702

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-707

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-802

Class 6 Felony

 

Class 1 Misdemeanor

Up to 1.5 years in prison

 

Up to $2,500 fine, 6 months in jail

Arkansas

Ark. Code § 5-26-401

Ark. Code § 5-4-201

Ark. Code § 5-4-401

Class A Misdemeanor;


Class D Felony for attempting to leave state to avoid payment, or $2,500 in past-due support and 4 months of consecutive non-payment, or has previously been convicted of nonsupport.

 

Class C Felony if more than $10,000 owed

Class B felony if more than $25,000 owed

1 year, $2,500 fine;
 

Up to 6 years or $10,000 fine

 

 

 

3-10 years; Up to $10,000 fine

5-20 years; Up to $15,000 fine

California

Cal. Penal Code, §270

Misdemeanor

1 year, $2,000

Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-6-101

Colo. Rev. Stat § 18-1.3-401

Class 5 Felony

1-3 years, $1,000 fine

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-304

Crime against public policy

1 year

Delaware

Del. Code tit. 11, § 5-1113

Del. Code tit. 11, § 4205

Del. Code tit. 11, § 4206

Class B Misdemeanor;
Class A Misdemeanor (4 months arrearage w/out multiple offenses);
Class G Felony ($10,000 arrearage, or 8+ months w/ no payment)

6 months, $1,150;
1 year, $2,300;
 

Up to 2 years

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 827.06

Fla. Stat. § 775.082

Fla. Stat. § 775.083

1st degree Misdemeanor;

 

3rd degree Felony (for 4th and subsequent convictions or the obligor owes more than 1 year of support equal or greater than $5,000)

 1 year, $1,000 fine.

 

 5 years, $5,000 fine.

Georgia

Ga. Code § 19-10-1

Ga. Code § 17-10-3

Misdemeanor;
Felony (if leaves state or 3rd offense)

1 year, $1,000;
1-3 years

Hawaii

Hawaii Stat. § 709-903

Hawaii Stat. § 706-663

Misdemeanor

1 year

Idaho

Idaho Code § 18-401

Felony

14 years or $500 fine

Illinois

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 750, § 16/15

Ill Rev. Stat. ch. 730, § 5/5-4.5-45

Ill Rev. Stat. ch. 730, § 5/5-4.5-50

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 730, § 5/5-4.5-55

1st offense: Class A Misdemeanor ($5,000+ arrearage, or 6+ months w/ no payment)


Multiple offenses: Class 4 Felony ($10,000+ arrearage, or 6+ months w/ no payment)

$2,500/offense and/or up to 1 year imprisonment

 

 

Up to $25,000 fine or 1-3 years imprisonment

 

Restitution:

$1000-5000 if nonsupport for more than 2 years and $1000-10,000 in arrears

$5000-$10000 If nonsupport for more than 5 years or $10,000-20,000 in arrears

$10,000-25,000 if nonsupport for more than 8 years and more than $20,000 in arrears

Indiana

Ind. Code. § 35-46-1-5

Ind. Code § 35-50-2-7

Ind. Code § 35-50-2-6

Level 6 felony after June 30, 2014

Class D felony if before June 30, 2014

Level 5 felony if after June 30, 2014

Class C felony if before June 30, 2014

6 months-2.5 years; $10,000 fine;

6 months-3 years; $10,000

1-6 years; $10,000

2-8 years; $10,000

Iowa

Iowa Code § 726.5

Iowa Code § 902.9

Class D Felony (1 year without payment or $5000+ in arrears)

Up to 5 years imprisonment and up to $7500 fine

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5606

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6611

Level 10 Nonperson Felony

7 months, $100,000 fine

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 530.050

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 532.020

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 534.040

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 534.030

Class A Misdemeanor;
Class D Felony (flagrant nonsupport): six months without payment or $1000+ in arrears

1 year; $500
1-5 years; $1,000-$10,000

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. § 14:75

6 months nonpayment or $2500 in arrears

First offense:  6 months, $500 fine; Second and subsequent offense:  2 years, $2500 fine

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, §552

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 1252

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 1301

Class E crime

6 months, $1,000 fine

Maryland

Md. Family Law § 10-203

Misdemeanor

3 years and/or $100 fine

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Stat. ch. 273, § 1

Mass. Gen. Stat. ch. 273, § 15A

Felony

2.5 years in jail, 5 years in prison, or $5,000 fine

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.165

Felony

4 years, $2,000

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.375

Misdemeanor;


Gross Misdemeanor (90-180 days nonpayment or 6-9 times the monthly support amount in arrears);


Felony (over 180 days on payment or 9+ times the monthly amount in arrears)

90 days, $700;


1 year, $3,000;

 


2 years, $5,000

Mississippi

Miss. Code. § 97-5-3

Felony
 

First Offense: Up to 5 years or $100-$500 fine
Second or Subsequent Offense: $1000-$10,000 fine or 2-5 years

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 568.040

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 558.011

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 560.011

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 560.016

Class A Misdemeanor;


Class D Felony (12 months in payments due)

1 year, $1,000;


4 years, $5,000

Montana

Mont. Code § 45-5-621

Nonsupport;


Aggravated Nonsupport (if obligor leaves state or has prior conviction)

6 months, $500 fine;


Up to 10 years or $5,000 for 6 mos. nonsupport;
Up to 10 years, $50,000 for aggravated ns

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-706

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-106

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-105

Class II Misdemeanor;

 

Class IV Felony (if in violation of court order)

6months, $1,000;


5years, $10,000

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 201.020

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 193.150

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 193.130

Misdemeanor;

 

Class C felony(if $10,000+ in arrears or second or subsequent offense)

6 months, $1,000;


1-5 years, $10,000

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 639:4

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 651:2

Class A Misdemeanor;
Class B Felony (nonsupport for 1 year or $10,000 of arrearage or repeat offense)

1 year, $2,000;
7 years, $4,000

New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:24-5

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:44-1

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:44-2

Crime of the 4th degree

9 months, Fines are at discretion of court

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-6-2

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 31-18-15

4th Degree felony

18 months, $5,000

New York

N.Y. Penal Code, §260.05

N.Y. Penal Code, § 260.06

Class A Misdemeanor;
Class E Felony

1 year, $1,000;
4 years, $5,000

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-322

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1340.23

1st offense: Class 2 Misdemeanor;
2nd and Subsequent: Class 1 Misdemeanor

Up to 30 days;
Up to 45 days

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07-15

N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-32-01

Class C Felony

5 years, $5,000

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 2919.21

Ohio Rev. Code § 2929.14

Ohio Rev. Code § 2929.18

Ohio Rev. Code § 2929.24

Ohio Rev. Code § 2929.28

1st Degree Misdemeanor;


5th Degree Felony (nonsupport for 26 of 104 weeks);


4th Degree Felony (repeat offense)

6 months, $1,000;


6-12 months, $,2500;

 


6-18 months, $5,000

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 853

Felony

1-10 years

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. § 163.555

Or. Rev. Stat. § 161.605

Or. Rev. Stat. § 161.625

Class C Felony

5 years, $125,000

Pennsylvania

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 23, § 4354

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 18, § 1101

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 18, § 1104

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 18, § 1105

Summary offense

Misdemeanor of the third degree if a second or subsequent offense or 12 months in support is owed.

90 days; $300

1 year, $2,500

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws §11-2-1

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-2-1.1

Misdemeanor;

 

Felony ($10,000 and failure to pay three or more installments)

6 months;


5 years

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-20

Misdemeanor

1 year, $300-1500

South Dakota

S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 25-7-16

S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 22-6-2

S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 22-6-1

Class 1 misdemeanor;

Class 6 Felony (leaving state)

1 year, $2,000;
2 years, $4,000

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-101

Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-111

Class A Misdemeanor (nonsupport);
Class E Felony (flagrant nonsupport)

11 months, 29 days, $2,500;
6 years, $3,000

Texas

Tex. Penal Code, §25.05

Tex. Penal Code § 12.35

State Jail Felony

2 years, $10,000

Utah

Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-201

Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-204

Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-203

Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-301

Class A Misdemeanor;

 

3rd Degree Felony (prior conviction,
nonsupport 18 out of 24 months, $10,000 arrearage, or leave state)

1 year, $2,500;

 

5 years, $5,000

Vermont

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 202

 

2 years, $300

Virginia

Va. Code § 20-61

Misdemeanor

1 year, $500, or $1,000 payable to spouse or child's guardian

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code § 26.20.035

Wash. Rev. Code. § 9A.20.21

Gross Misdemeanor

1 year, $5,000

West Virginia

W.Va. Code § 61-5-29

Misdemeanor;

1 year, $100-$1,000;

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 948.22

Wis. Stat. § 939.51

Wis Stat. § 939.50

Class A Misdemeanor;
Class I Felony (for over 120 days)

9 months, $10,000;
3.5 years, $10,000

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. § 20-3-101

Misdemeanor

6 months, $750;
1 year, $1,000 (for previous conviction or failure to pay within 60 days)

 

About This NCSL Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support policy, financing, laws, research and promising practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legislature that would like training or assistance related to this topic.

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. Staff in D.C. can be reached at (202) 624-5400 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.

Additional Resources