CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
ABANDONMENT OR NONSUPPORT OF WIFE OR CHILDREN
18-401. Desertion and nonsupport of children or spouse. Every person who:
(1) Having any child under the age of eighteen (18) years dependent upon him or her for care, education or support, deserts such child in any manner whatever, with intent to abandon it;
(2) Willfully omits, without lawful excuse, to furnish necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance for his or her child or children, or ward or wards; provided however, that the practice of a parent or guardian who chooses for his child treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone shall not for that reason alone be construed to be a violation of the duty of care to such child;
(3) Having sufficient ability to provide for a spouse’s support, or who is able to earn the means for such spouse’s support, who willfully abandons and leaves a spouse in a destitute condition, or who refuses or neglects to provide such spouse with necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance, unless by the spouse’s misconduct he or she is justified in abandoning him or her;
Shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment for not to exceed fourteen (14) years, or both.
[I.C., sec. 18-401, as added by 1972, ch. 336, sec. 1, p. 859; am. 1972, ch. 381, sec. 8, p. 1089; am. 2000, ch. 294, sec. 1, p. 1011.]