News and Tribune

March 28, 2014

Repeat child support offenders face more jail time

By SUMMER BALLENTINE
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Repeat offenders who don’t pay child support will face greater penalties in Indiana.

Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation this week to make repeated criminal nonsupport of a child punishable by two to eight years in prison.

Previous law only allowed such sentences for those owing more than $15,000 in back child support.

Other changes give judges more flexibility in lowering sentences if offenders pay their overdue support and serve probation. A lesser sentence also means judges have the option to clear offenders’ records.

Attorneys who specialize in family law say keeping a felony charge off someone’s record could help offenders find jobs and ultimately provide reliable support for their children.