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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.

The right information can help child support recipients

Child custody and child support are often the most contentious issues for divorcing spouses. Child support is often an ongoing dispute that continues until the children become adults. For unwed parents, child support can be an even thornier because support orders for a mother or father who is not married to the custodial parent can be tough to enforce. Massachusetts, however, has stringent laws against delinquent biological parents who fail to pay their support.

If a custodial parent is in dire need of child support, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue can help to have the child support order enforced in order to obtain payment. The custodial parent simply goes to court and requests enforcement. Once a court issues orders for child support payment, the custodial parent can contact the Department of Revenue. The department then contacts the non-custodial parent's employer to have the requisite child support funds deducted from the paycheck.

The Department of Revenue may also be able to send weekly updates and instructions for child support payments in cases where the non-custodial parent is self-employed. In addition, the custodial parent may be granted access to all of the records about the non-custodial parent's support payment history.

If the custodial parent receives child support payments directly from the non-custodial parent, the Department of Revenue will have no record of those payments. Unfortunately, this could lead to enforcement actions against the non-custodial parent. In addition, if the department sends the custodial parent any excess child support payment funds, the custodial parent is responsible for informing the Department of Revenue. In those cases, adjustments can be made for future payments to account for the difference already paid. A non-custodial parent who refuses to pay child support also may have to pay penalties later in lieu of interest for the insufficient payments.

Source: Mass.gov, "Information for Parents Who Receive Child Support," accessed on Jan. 21, 2015

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