744,200 fathers and 65,600 mothers are imprisoned in the United States of America
744,200 fathers and 65,600 mothers are imprisoned in the United States of America, work but do not pay
IRC Section 32(c 2)(B) provides that “no amount received for services provided by an individual while the individual is an inmate at a penal institution shall be taken into account” in determining earned income.
Past-due support may accumulate while the father is in jail. But unless he has assets, such as property, bank accounts, or any income such as wages from a work-release program, it is unlikely that support can be collected while he is in jail. You might write to the warden of the prison and ask if any provision is made for a prisoner to provide support for his children. Depending on state law, your support order may be modified so that payment is deferred or forgiven until he is released and working. (Some states will do this so that the arrearage when he is released is not so great that he might hide, but will seek work and resume payments.)
If he is in a Federal Correctional Facility, in addition to seizing available outside assets and income, if any, there also is a possibility that you can get child support payments from the inmate’s prison account. According to the Bureau of Prisons instruction, the withdrawal of funds from an inmate’s account is strictly voluntary. Child support obligations are listed as the fourth priority of funds that can be withdrawn. You, or your caseworker, will need to find out who the inmate’s case manager is and write a letter to that person. Any correspondence to the case manager needs to specifically indicate that child support obligations are to be considered pursuant to the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program. If funds are not received, it may be due to the fact that the inmate has refused to make payment, or that the inmate is making payments that have priority over the child support payments. Contact with the case manager can verify whether or not the inmate is cooperating and willing to meet the child support obligations. (The Bureau of Prisons website has information about locating a prisoner: http://www.bop.gov/)
Stop the Killing Stop Taking Start Paying Your Share Now.
- Alimony From Other Parent Not Considered Income for Child Support Purposes in Chattanooga: Ghorashi-Bajestani v. Bajestani (herstontennesseefamilylaw.com)
- Saskatchewan stepping up child and spousal support enforcement (globalnews.ca)
- Brito: “Fathers Behind Bars: Rethinking Child Support Policy Toward Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers and Their Families” (lawprofessors.typepad.com)