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Federal program targets those with unpaid child support

The stress divorce places on Ohio families can be tremendous. When one parent fails to meet their obligation to pay child support, the strain unnecessarily increases. People dealing with an uncooperative ex-spouse are now receiving much needed attention from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS is launching an effort to track down and hold "deadbeat parents" accountable for unpaid child support.

In many cases, various agencies try to track down those who have not paid child support with little success. When they visit the known residences of the offenders, no one is home or the address is not up to date.

If law enforcement officials discover that someone owes more than $5,000 in child support crosses state lines, the offense becomes classified as a federal crime. Furthermore, it is a felony to leave the state with that much in late payments.

Upping the ante, the federal government has recently created a website listing the names of the top offenders. The goal of this website is to help law enforcement officials find the nation's most negligent parents. The man at the top of the wanted list owes his ex-wife and kids more than $1 million.

This federal program hopes to build on the success of efforts to track down those who owe the most in delinquent child support. Over $33 million in unpaid child support has been paid to families as a result of the government's efforts since 2006.

Many Ohio parents rely on child support payments to raise a healthy and happy family. Without both parents upholding their end of a divorce settlement, it can be difficult for a family to recover from a split. When the right steps are taken, families will receive the money necessary to thrive.

Source: WAVY-TV, "Government goes after deadbeat parents," Jan. 18, 2012

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