According to About.com, mothers who have not received child support payments from their children's father may report a deadbeat dad to the child support enforcement office in their state or to the federal Office of Inspector General. Mothers reporting on deadbeat dads should be prepared to provide information regarding the payments due as well as the father's contact information and last known location.
The OIG points out that most child support cases should be referred to state authorities. However, the OIG pursues deadbeat dads who live in different states from their children or who travel out of state or out of the United States to avoid making child support payments.
As About.com points out, many so-called deadbeat dads do not have the money to pay court-ordered child support. Wikipedia refers to a 2003 study showing that 76 percent of those in arrears in their child support payments did not have the ability to pay. When this situation occurs, the payments are often adjusted to reflect the father's current earnings.
According to the OIG, failure to pay child support is punishable by fines and prison time. As Wikipedia points out, other penalties vary between states and can include suspension of drivers licenses or business licenses, as well as garnishment of tax refund checks, lottery winnings and other monies due from government sources.