Main content

Chapter 3: Supporting Dependents (Probation and Supervised Release Conditions)

A. Statutory Authority

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(1), the court may provide that the defendant “support his dependents and meet other family responsibilities.”

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(20), the court may provide that the defendant “comply with the terms of any court order or order of an administrative process pursuant to the law of a State, the District of Columbia, or any other possession or territory of the United States, requiring payments by the defendant for the support and maintenance of a child or of a child and the parent with whom the child is living.”

B. Sample Condition Language

If you are ordered by the government to make child support payments or to make payments to support a person caring for a child, you must make the payments and comply with the other terms of the order.

You must meet any legal obligation to support or make payment toward the support of any person, including any dependent child, the co-parent or caretaker of a dependent child, or a spouse or former spouse.

C. Purpose

The purpose of this condition is to ensure that the defendant complies with court orders and avoids collateral consequences for not complying with court orders such as lost driver’s license, garnishment of wages, and loan ineligibility.

D. Method of Implementation

The probation officer verifies that payments have been made by contacting the child support enforcement agency, social workers assigned to the defendant’s case, and members of the defendant’s family. The probation officer may also assist with establishing a payment schedule.