When noncustodial parents in Massachusetts neglect to pay child support, they may not realize that their children are the ones who are most affected. A custodial parent who has to make ends meet without court-ordered child support may experience constant anxiety. However, there are federal and state laws designed to help with the enforcement of unpaid child support. If you are in such a position, you may find comfort knowing that you don’t have to go through this alone — family law attorneys are available to act on your behalf and work toward a suitable solution to the problem.
The object of the enforcement laws is to encourage regular payment of child support and include wage garnishments, property liens and license suspension. In addition, some states allow a non-paying parent’s driver’s or professional license to be suspended. Depending on the circumstances, a defaulting noncustodial parent may have to face contempt charges or even incarceration. Jail time is usually a last resort as a parent in jail will be without income and without means to fulfill financial obligations.
The ideal situation is to maintain a loving parent-child relationship, and there are ways to achieve this. Many custodial parents wish to resolve these issues in a way that would not affect the children and opt to retain the services of an experienced professional who may be able to facilitate negotiations to bring about amicable solutions. When the circumstances of a noncustodial parent have changed significantly through no fault of their own, he or she may formally request the court to modify the child support order to a more affordable amount.
Massachusetts parents who are overwhelmed by the legal processes involved in child support enforcement may benefit from visiting our family law website. Should you choose to utilize our services, your unique circumstances will be assessed and the various options explained. We aim to resolve child support issues in a manner that truly honors the best interests of any children involved.
Source: FindLaw, “Enforcement and Collection of Back Child Support“, Oct. 21, 2014