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Options for servicemembers, veterans behind in support

When people in Springfield, Massachusetts, hear discussions about the enforcement of a child support order, they are often thinking about what can be done to a parent who does not pay. However, there are also circumstances in which a well-meaning parent who is facing some temporary hardships deserves protection from the full consequences of the state’s child support enforcement powers.

For instance, veterans and those on active duty in the military often run in to difficulties that might make it harder for them to pay their child support in a timely fashion. As with everyone else, it is still a solider or veteran’s obligation to make sure he or she gets support paid, but there are some instances in which a little mercy is important to give.

Many active duty members of the military and veterans may be exempt from state-imposed interest and penalties on their overdue child support provided they are making some efforts toward paying. If they qualify for this exemption, it can help soldiers and sailors save money and keep their obligations from spinning out of control. These penalties may get imposed automatically each month unless a person speaks up about being entitled to an exemption.

Moreover, in many cases, getting called up to active duty can mean a substantial pay cut for a parent who is both serving his or her country and providing for his or her children. In this case, the best option for avoiding enforcement may be to ask for a modification of child support in order to account for one’s lower pay.

These are just some options available to a veteran or member of the military if they are having some difficulties making their support payments on time despite their best efforts. People in this situation should also consider speaking with an experienced child support attorney about their options.