Some executives of the incoming George Weah’s CDC led Government may not travel to the United States due to what multiple sources from the U.S. hinted the GNN-Liberia that these officials have been caught in the web of child support and other related offences allegedly filed by their US based spouses will be awaiting court trial any time of their arrival in the United States.
Diaspora Liberians who spoke to our Correspondent in Washington, the United States, few days ago are also expressing fears of the arrest and detention of their compatriots whenever they enter the United States, “We who are here in the United States as Liberians are concern and worrying over this news about our officials who may fall in this web”, Anniebell Logan of Philadelphia, the United States in a telephone chat noted,
A source closed to the United States Department of Justice also hinted the GNN-Liberia the list of those who many be caught in the ‘Child Support’ web and are been wanted by the Justice will shortly be released and subsequently published.
According to United States Department of Justice on Citizens’ Guide to U.S. Federal Law on Child Support Enforcement states: 18 U.S.C. § 228- Failure to pay legal child support obligations, makes it illegal for an individual to willfully fail to pay child support in certain circumstances.
For one, an individual is subject to federal prosecution if he or she willfully fails to pay child support that has been ordered by a court for a child who lives in another state, or if the payment is past due for longer than 1 year or exceeds the amount of $5,000. A violation of this law is a criminal misdemeanor, and convicted offender face fines and up to 6 months in prison (See 18 U.S.C. § 228(a)(1)).
If, under the same circumstances, the child support payment is overdue for longer than 2 years, or the amount exceeds $10,000, the violation is a criminal felony, and convicted offenders face fines and up to 2 years in prison (See 18 U.S.C.§ 228(a)(3)).
Lastly, this statute prohibits individuals obligated to pay child support from crossing state lines or fleeing the country with the intent to avoid paying child support that has either been past due for more than 1 year or exceeds $5,000. (See 18 U.S.C. § 228(a)(2)). Any individual convicted of this crime may face up to 2 years in prison.
Notably, other than in the specific circumstances aforementioned, child support enforcement issues are handled by state and local authorities, and not by the federal government. Furthermore, all child support enforcement matters must be addressed at the local or state level before concerns can be raised at the federal level.