In an effort to send a message to parents who neglect to pay child support and demonstrate his Net savvy to Silicon Valley, President Clinton today announced a measure that will use the Net to find "deadbeat" parents.
The Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 makes it a federal offense for parents to willfully fail to pay child support for their child, even if the child lives in another state. The Justice Department has also been working with local U.S. attorneys' offices to collect child support from parents who seek to evade the law, but Clinton today said that's not good enough.
"The Department of Justice, working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the states, must pursue all available measures to punish those who have tried to evade their child support obligations," Clinton wrote in a memorandum to the attorney general.
He outlined four steps designed to strengthen child support enforcement efforts, one of which includes using the Internet to disseminate information about deadbeat parents: "I direct you as part of your effort to enforce criminal laws, to cooperate with the Department of Health and Human Services to place on their Internet child support page the names of persons who have been indicted under Federal law for willfully failing to pay child support and have fled in an attempt to escape criminal prosecution."
The president has instructed the attorney general to report back to him on progress in implementing the new procedures within three months.