The Korea Herald


Absentee parents to face criminal penalties

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Oct. 19, 2022 - 14:42

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Two noncustodial parents will be reported to police for neglecting their duties to cover the expenses for their children. This will be the first time for child support obligors to face criminal charges since related laws were revised in July 2021.

A civic group committed to conflicts related to child care expenses said on Wednesday it will report two “bad parents” who purposefully refused to pay for their noncustodial children’s living expenses to Suseo Police Station.

According to the group, one father has not paid court-ordered expenses for his children for 10 years, adding up to 120 million won ($84,400).

Held in detention in August for refusing to pay the expenses, he was one of the first to be subject to the punitive measures imposed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, such as having his name publicly revealed, a travel ban and suspension of his driver’s license.

Another mother refused to pay off expenses for child care, despite living in the affluent Gangnam area of Seoul and owning an expensive imported car, the group said, adding the mother had been eluding her obligation through false resident registration and receiving her monthly wages by cash.

With the Act on Enforcing and Supporting Child Support Payment revised in July 2021, parents who continue to refuse to pay for their children’s living expenses for a year after receiving the detention order from the court can be imprisoned for up to one year or receive a fine up to 10 million won.

Though the Gender Ministry has been enforcing punitive measures for the child support obligors since last year, they had so far not faced criminal charges.

“This will be the standard for many cases of disputes related to court-ordered child care expenses,” Lee Young, the head of the civic group said. “If the criminal charges are not pressed properly, there will be more noncustodial parents who refuse to pay for the expenses.”

As of Oct. 12, 267 parents have made the ministry’s "shame list" for not paying off child support expenses.

By Im Eun-byel (