CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- State Sen. Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announced Tuesday that his legislation aimed at "cracking down on dead beat parents" passed the state senate.
This bill will make clear that "a person obligated to pay child support by a child support order is guilty of non-support in the first degree when he or she purposely terminates his or her employment, reduces his or her earnings or fails to diligently seek to be employed, and he or she has been previously convicted in the preceding five years of the misdemeanor offense of nonsupport of a child," according to a press release.
“Those that are legally obligated to provide child support should not be allowed to escape criminal prosecution if they deliberately avoid paying child support,” said Ball. “It is my hope that this legislation will send a strong message to dead beat parents. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to follow the Senate’s lead and pass this bill.”
The bill has been sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
“The law already recognizes that a person obligated by court order to pay child support cannot intentionally terminate his or her employment, reduce his or her earnings or fail to diligently look for a job,” Paulin said. “Doing that is a misdemeanor offense. But we need to make clear that if you purposefully avoid your child support obligation and you've been convicted of doing that before within the past five years, that is a felony. People who are legally obligated to provide child support should receive more than a slap on the wrist -- they should be held criminally liable -- when they deliberately take action to avoid paying child support after they've already been convicted once for doing the same thing.”