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Parents face federal authorities for child support contempt

According to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Heath and Human Services, the public will be able to help identify parents who are in contempt of child support payments.

Through a website, the federal office is asking for help to locate parents who are running from or are behind in paying child support obligations. On the site, people can browse photos of the men and women in question and submit information to help government authorities find them and hold them accountable for their lack of action.

The government's most wanted deadbeat parents are listed on the site. One of the parents at the top of the list currently owes more than $1 million in payments to support his three children spanning two marriages. He was ordered to begin paying child support in 1996. Others also owe substantial amounts, ranging from about $21,000 to $68,000.

The site also shows those who have been captured, including one man who owed $164,000 and another who owed more than $116,000.

Typically, the state handles cases of child support, but when parents do not pay child support for more than a year, the federal government can step in. This also includes cases where more than $5,000 is owed, when the parents flee the state or country, and where children live in other states. Federal government officials have captured and convicted more than 500 parents who fled from a combined $33 million in child support payments since 2006.

Source: Office of Inspector General, "OIG Launches Child Support Enforcement Web Page: Introduces 'most wanted' list of deadbeat parents," Katherine Harris, Jan. 17, 2012

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