When a parent is doing what he or she can to provide financial support for his or her children, it can be infuriating to see the state hold funds and not release them for an extended period of time. Why is it that the state of Massachusetts can put a hold on child support payments? Can this be avoided?

There are actually a number of reasons the state will hold child support payments before releasing them to the receiving parent. When they do, they can hold funds anywhere from 14 days to 180 days. The reasons the state will hold funds are:

  • An enforcement action is under review
  • The payer submits a support check totaling $5,000 or more
  • The payer’s previous checks have bounced
  • The payer pays more than what is owed
  • The state does not have the correct address for the payee
  • There is no active support case on record

Is there anything the payer or payee can do to get the state to release funds early? Unfortunately, no. These hold periods are solid, even if the payer or payee submits a request to stop the hold.

The best way parents who are ordered to pay support can ensure that child support funds are not held by the state, instead of immediately being transferred to the receiving party, is to make sure the correct amount is paid on time. Receiving parents can help themselves by making sure the state has their correct address on file. If there are concerns about the terms of the support order, either party can turn to legal counsel who will be able to help them address it in a Massachusetts family court.