According to the existing legal system, child support enforcement is a responsibility of the particular state. That means that most matters pertaining to child support in Massachusetts are under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts courts. Child support enforcement tasks are carried out by Title IV-D agencies according to federal laws. However, in certain exceptional cases, federal laws may also apply. Those federal laws are mainly related to child support enforcement, especially in those cases where the amount of child support that the parent owes is a fairly large amount.
Parents who have failed to pay court ordered child support for their kids in Massachusetts owe $1.6 billion. There are reportedly over 32,000 non-custodial parents that individually owe more than $10,000 in back child support in our state. There are mechanisms that agencies use to find these non-paying parents, but when a person leaves the state, the task can be more difficult, and the totals increase even higher.
Paying child support can be difficult for some fathers in Massachusetts. With the average child support award approaching up to 35 percent of a person's income, those who make a small amount each month can find it hard to pay for other expenses such as the cost of rent or heat. In addition, in some cases, the non-custodial paying father has another family that he is trying to support as well.
Child support is often part of any divorce or child custody case that involves minor children. Child support is typically paid to a custodial parent by the noncustodial parent to assist with living expenses for the child. It is ordered to be paid on a monthly basis in many cases, and there are severe consequences in Massachusetts and elsewhere for someone who willfully fails to honor his or her court-ordered obligation to pay.
Some Massachusetts residents might be surprised to learn that pop singer Stevie B is accused of owing more than $400,000 in back child support. The singer was recently arrested and spent several days in jail. He denies the claim that he owes that much in unpaid child support.