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Parents can face stiff penalties for not paying child support

Most child support orders are put in place by a court to ensure that growing children have their financial needs met. In Massachusetts, child support orders are taken very seriously, and failure to make timely payments for the predetermined amount can result in stiff penalties. When payments lag behind, a child can suffer, and an extra burden is placed on a custodial parent to try to cover the needs of the child. 

When parents willfully fail to pay their child support, they may be charged with a crime. In addition to criminal penalties, parents risk a variety of other sanctions. Many states will now resort to drivers' license suspensions to force a parent to catch up on payments. 

Wages may be garnished, which can lead to a parent falling further behind on support and other financial obligations. A parent in arrears may also find that his or her passport has been blocked. I'm addition to hefty fines and possible jail time, nonpayment of child support can even lead to dismissal from military service. 

If a Massachusetts parent fears that he or she may be affected by a hiccup in an ability to pay or receive child support, such as a change in financial circumstances, an attorney may be able to help. An experienced family law lawyer knows the ins and outs of establishing, modifying or enforcing a child support order. Missed payments can turn into a big deal very quickly, and a parent may have trouble moving forward if the situation is not dealt with immediately. 

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