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Massachusetts child support vital to many families

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, a noncustodial parent does not have a court order giving him or her physical or legal custody of a child. This may occur as the result of divorce proceedings, but it can also happen in other circumstances. These include paternity findings and court orders concerning parents who are not married. In most cases, noncustodial parents must pay child support to the parent with whom the child resides.

One media report recently discussed the various reasons that noncustodial parents can be required to pay child support. The article discussed the success of a Mid-Atlantic state's child support collection program. That state agency has been able to increase the number of on-time payments made to custodial parents by a large margin. The program helps both noncustodial mothers and fathers, and there is an emphasis on job support.

When a noncustodial parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, the custodial parent has a variety of enforcement measures to help secure compliance. One alternative may be to contact the appropriate state agency, as was the case in the recent article. Typically, the state agency has the power to take actions such as wage garnishments, tax refund withholding and other steps that it deems appropriate for an individual situation.

Child support payments are crucial to custodial parents in Massachusetts and across the country. When they remain unpaid, it can put a financial strain on the person working to raise a child alone. In addition, it can even put an emotional strain on kids who become aware of the failure to pay. Many times, a family law attorney can help custodial parents seek enforcement of existing court orders, or assist noncustodial parents who seek a modification of such orders based upon a substantial change in circumstances.

Source: heraldmailmedia.com, "Washington County stands strong in child-support collections", Katiann Marshall, July 9, 2017

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