Possession of sufficient funds is just one way the government can prove willful failure to pay under Child Support Recovery Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 228(a). Willfulness can also exist if the defendant lacks sufficient funds, so long as the defendant’s financial circumstances result from his own intentional acts. If the government proceeds under theory that defendant’s willful failure to pay child support was based on lack of sufficient funds due to intentional acts, it need not prove that the defendant deprived himself of earnings with a motive to deprive his children of support; instead, it is enough for the government to prove that the defendant could have earned more money to pay down his obligation but intentionally avoided doing so.
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website: www.