If a person continues to refuse to pay child support, he or she can be found guilty of criminal contempt and placed in jail. Some states refer to the crime as “criminal nonsupport.” The penalties can be serious. Alaska law provides that a person can be sentenced to a Class A felony for criminal nonsupport. Tennessee law provides that a person can be jailed in a county workhouse for up to six months for failure to comply with support obligations.
Court-ordered child support is not optional, and parents who do not pay can find themselves in jail (iStock).