22 Dec

Massachusetts judges get tough on deadbeat parents

Posted by Super User

Getting a child support award is certainly not the end for single parents who need assistance from former spouses to care for their children. Long after a child support award is obtained in court, single parents may find themselves fighting to actually enforce the award, while those who are unable to pay - as well as those deadbeat parents that refuse to pay - fail to make good on the award. The result impacts both the single parent and the child, both of whom often need financial support.


Failure to make child support payments

Massachusetts courts have recently decided to take a hardline approach to enforcing child support awards.

In one particular case, a deadbeat father avoided child support payments for years and now owes a total of $481,000 in child support. He has several former wives who worked with authorities to enforce their child support awards against him. While the man's lawyer says that he only makes $350 per week as a bartender, there is evidence that he may own several bars in other states. This of course raises issues of fact-finding to determine whether the man does in fact own these assets, as well as legal issues relating to the attachment of property in other states to enforce child support awards in Massachusetts.

Broader aspects of child support enforcement

Child support enforcement can occur in a number of ways, but it will often require either the garnishment of wages or the attachment of assets of the parent responsible for the child support payments. In some cases, a deadbeat parent may even be jailed for failing to make child support payments if a judge finds that he or she is in contempt of court.

Assets found either inside or outside the state of Massachusetts may be able to serve as a basis for satisfying outstanding child support obligations. If it is determined that a parent has property in another state, actions will have to be filed in those states and writs of execution obtained in order to enforce a foreign child support award.

If property cannot be attached, any ex-spouses and children may have to suffice with garnished wages. In cases in which the parent who has to pay does not make much money, ex-spouses and children can be left with very little support.

How a family law attorney can help

If you are having trouble enforcing a child support order, contact an experienced family law attorney who can help you collect the payments you deserve. A family law attorney can help with custody, parenting schedules, mediation, child support and alimony issues during a divorce or a custody dispute.

If you are struggling to make child support payments, but are unable to do so, it is also a good idea to contact a family law attorney. If your circumstances have changed significantly since the time of a child support award, such as due to a job loss, you may be able to seek a child support modification so that you can avoid the consequences of non-payment.