Providing the money one’s children need to cover basic necessities and some extra expenses can be challenging for many parents in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Numerous individuals who know they will have to pay child support following the end of a marriage or relationship may be concerned that the amount they are ordered to pay will be too much for them to keep up with or more than is really necessary to cover their children’s needs. For these individuals, it may be tempting to fudge their income numbers so they do not have to pay too much, but doing this can have significant consequences.

A man in another state recently learned that not being honest about his income could cost him a lot more than money. The 40-year-old father of one reportedly told a family court judge back in 2013 that a schedule change resulted in a loss of income and even went as far as to file false payroll statements with the court to support his claim. In doing so, he received a child support order that was less than it should have been and he ended up withholding over $15,000 in support from his child’s mother.

This individual may have gotten away with the scam had it not been discovered while he was being investigated for an unrelated issue. He, a police officer, is now facing criminal charges and he may lose his job because he lied to the court about his income. If convicted, he faces up to seven years behind bars.

The moral of this story is, crime does not pay. Withholding income to achieve a lower child support order has consequences. Massachusetts residents who have concerns about child support would better serve themselves by being honest and upfront with the court and seeking modifications down the line if they are necessary. An experienced family law attorney can help those dealing with child support issues in achieving support orders that are fair and affordable.