Arkansas Code Title 5. Criminal Offenses § 5-26-401. Nonsupport

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(a) A person commits the offense of nonsupport if he or she fails to provide support to the person's:

(1) Spouse who is physically or mentally infirm or financially dependent;

(2) Legitimate child who is less than eighteen (18) years of age;

(3) Illegitimate child who is less than eighteen (18) years of age and whose parentage has been determined in a previous judicial proceeding;  or

(4) Dependent child who is physically or mentally infirm.

(b)(1) Nonsupport is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) However, nonsupport is a:

(A) Class D felony if the person:

(i) Leaves or remains outside the State of Arkansas for more than thirty (30) days while a current duty of support is unpaid.  However, it is an affirmative defense to a charge under this subdivision (b)(2)(A)(i) that the defendant did not leave or remain outside the state with the purpose of avoiding the payment of support;

(ii) Has previously been convicted of nonsupport;  or

(iii) Owes more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) in past-due child support, pursuant to a court order or by operation of law, and the amount represents at least four (4) months of past-due child support;

(B) Class C felony if the person owes more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) but less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in past-due child support, pursuant to a court order or by operation of law;  or

(C) Class B felony if the person owes more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in past-due child support, pursuant to a court order or by operation of law.

(c) The court may direct that a fine imposed upon conviction of nonsupport or a bond forfeited in connection with a prosecution for nonsupport be paid for the support and maintenance of the person entitled to support.

(d) A district court located in a county having a population in excess of two hundred thousand (200,000) inhabitants shall cause a warrant of arrest to be issued upon affidavit of a spouse or any person who is responsible for maintenance of a dependent child who states that nonsupport has taken place.

(e) Any person found guilty of nonsupport is also responsible for the court costs and administrative costs incurred by the court.

(f) The state may take judgment against any defendant convicted of nonsupport for any money expended by any state agency for the support and maintenance of the person with respect to whom the defendant had a duty to support.

(g) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant had just cause to fail to provide the support.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Arkansas Code Title 5. Criminal Offenses § 5-26-401. Nonsupport - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-5-criminal-offenses/ar-code-sect-5-26-401.html


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