If a court finds a person to be behind in child support payments, the court may have a parent arrested for non-payment. The period of time for incarceration is:
A minimum amount of time
The amount of time it takes to ensure the child support payments will be paid in the future (generally a maximum of 6 months)
Most courts will only consider incarceration after an attempt at collecting child support through other methods. Courts generally take the position that it is in the child's best interests to receive care and support from both parents.
Factors Considered Prior to Incarceration Due to Child Support Payments
There are several factors considered prior to a court's determination to incarcerate a person due to owed child support:
- Amount of owed support
- Reasons for non-payment (For example, if a father is questioning paternity, a court may decide not to hold a father in contempt until a paternity test is complete.)