Bannock County Child Support
- Non-support of Children Criminal Statutes
- Attorney’s Prosecution Policy
- Department of Health and Welfare Information
The criminal statutes regarding non-payment of child
support are found in Title 18, Chapter 4 of the Idaho Code. The statute making failure to support children a criminal offense is Idaho Code 18-401 and reads:
18-401. Destertion and Nonsupport of Children or Spouse
Every person who:
(1) Having any child under the age of eighteen (18) years dependent upon him or her for care, education or support, deserts such child in any manner whatever, with intent to abandon it;
(2) Willfully omits, without lawful excuse, to furnish necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance for his or her
child or children, or ward or wards; provided however, that the practice of a parent or guardian who chooses for his child treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone shall not for that reason alone be construed to be a violation of
the duty of care to such child;
(3) Having sufficient ability to provide for a spouse’s support, or who is able to earn the means for such spouse’s support, who willfully abandons and leaves a spouse in a destitute condition, or who refuses or neglects to provide such spouse with necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance, unless by the spouse’s misconduct he or she is
justified in abandoning him or her;
Shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment for not to exceed fourteen (14) years, or both.
The remaining provisions of Title 18, Chapter 4 of the Idaho Code discuss the court’s powers with regarding to remedying the defendant’s failure to provide for support of their children.
The Prosecuting Attorney has developed a policy which is intended to address the issues raised in attempting to enforce the non-support custody interference statute and to limit the unnecessary use of the scarce resources as a
substitute for taking action through the civil court process.
Recent changes is state and federal law have created a system, under the direction of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, wherein the tools and resources of the
State of Idaho have been channeled to the Department of Health and Welfare to address non-payment of child support. Therefore, the primary means for addressing non-payment of child support should be addressed to the Department
of Health and Welfare.
The prosecutor’s office does file non-payment of child support cases, but only when certain criteria are met. The prosecutor’s office must prove there was a duty to furnish necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical attendance
for the child(ren) by way of a court order; that the noncustodial parent was financially able to meet the child support obligation at the time the payment was due and that the noncustodial parent failed to supply such needs. If the
support arrearages are more than $5,000 or are unpaid for longer than one year, the noncustodial parent is subject to punishment. In screening a case for prosecution, the state will consider whether all reasonable civil remedies have
been pursued first, if there is a pattern of moving from employer to employer to avoid collection by way of withholding or other deception on the part of the noncustodial parent, and if there is a failure to make support payments after
being held in contempt of court. Each case shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as the evidence in each case will vary extremely.
It is preferable that the obligor be a resident of the Idaho or adjacent states (due to the necessity of subpoenaing out of state witnesses) and demonstrate at least a 50% delinquency over three years with an ability to pay the ordered amount of child support through employment/income. The children at issue must be Bannock County residents. Prior to any criminal filing, efforts must be made either by the Department of Health and Welfare Child Support Enforcement office or a private attorney to bring the obligor into compliance with the child support order such as: orders to show cause or attempts thereof, license suspensions, written communication, oral communications noted in a log, withholding orders, repayment agreements, etc.
The following documents must be obtained before a decision to prosecute can be rendered. These documents may come from any western state court and/or agency charged with the duty to make orders and/or collect child support.
- Certified Copy of the Decree of Divorce/Judgment with attachments such as Parenting Agreements, Child Support Calculation Sheets etc.
- Certified copy of any subsequent court orders contained in the divorce file, i.e. orders on show cause hearings, stipulations, modifications etc.
- Certified copy of the payment record.
- Copies of any incriminating narratives (statements from obligor) from Child Support Enforcement computer system.
- Copies of verification of income/medical insurance forms from employers.
- Copies of repayment agreements signed by obligor.
- Copies of license suspension orders.
- Copies of Social Security Administration income/employer information dating one year prior to decree/judgment.
- Copies of Department of Labor earnings for the immediately previous six quarters and/or unemployment benefit information.
The Department of Health and Welfare’s, Division of Welfare, Child Support Services web site has information, along with answers to frequently asked questions, on such topics as:
- Child Support Parent Payment Notification
- Child Support Services Assistance
- Direct Deposits/Electronic Payments
- Employer’s Guide to Child Support
- Establishing Paternity For Your Child
- Modifying A Existing Child Support Order
- When Parents Live In Different States
- When Your Child Is In Foster Care
- Medicaid and Birth Costs
- Facts about Health and Welfare’s new procedure to establish one central place for all child support payments to be received, recorded, and distributed.
This assistance is available in both English and Spanish.