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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Parents facing back child support could benefit from new programs

As Massachusetts residents know, it is an unfortunate fact that some parents become unable to pay child support or for whatever reason choose not to pay. Some parents fall behind simply because they have a lost their job or feel they do not have enough disposable income to send part of it to support their children. When parents fall behind on their payments, it can become a very serious legal issue. Otherwise good and loving parents could find themselves facing jail time as a penalty for falling behind on their child support payments.

The effectiveness of a person being sent to jail as the method of punishment for not paying child support has recently come into question. If a person is in jail, they are unable to find a job that would allow them to make money to pay their back child support and make future payments. Luckily, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement is hoping to implement new programs in certain states that would assistant noncustodial parents in finding jobs and being better able to make their support payments.

It has been reported that some states have already attempted to have more employment-based approaches toward noncustodial parents as opposed to strict legal punishment. These types of programs that have previously been put in place have seen some success. As a result, they could contribute to moving back child support penalties in a more proactive direction.

Of course, taking legal action is sometimes necessary when child support payments are not being made. If a parent chooses not to make payments, it may take a court system to further enforce a parent's obligation to make the payments as agreements are legally binding. Any parent who needs assistance in modifying their child support payments or who is not receiving payments may find looking into Massachusetts child support laws beneficial.

Source: governing.com, "Is Jailing Deadbeat Dads Effective?" Jonathan Walters, July 16, 2013

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