Massachusetts residents who are required to pay child support as a part of a court order after a divorce may be interested to learn about a case that recently took place in another state. In that case, a man was denied his request to lower his child support payments by the highest court in his state. The court found that he was not eligible to have his mandatory payment amount reduced to reflect his past overpayments.
Massachusetts readers may recognize the name of a famous rapper who has recently been arrested for failing to pay his court-ordered child support payments. In fact, the star has allegedly failed to pay child support since 2004. He reportedly has only paid $144 in child support in the last eight years, leaving a balance owed in back support of more than $160,000 for his 12-year-old daughter.
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.
Parents in Massachusetts likely want to work hard to make sure that all decisions made during divorce are made in the best interests of their children. Among these determinations are child support and child custody arrangements. After the divorce, if there are issues in the living arrangements of a child or the payment of support, it can leave the custodial parent in a quandary about how to rectify the situation and stay on track.
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.
There has been an increase in the number of parents who have been ordered to pay child support that live outside of the country. Whether due to the globalization of the economy or other reasons, the reality is that it can be difficult for states like Massachusetts to collect child support from these foreign living parents. In fact, according to some reports, it can take as many as five years or more for a foreign support obligation to be fulfilled, even when the U.S. has an agreement in place with the country in which the individual resides.
As many who have gone through a divorce in Massachusetts know, child support is ordered in most cases of divorce where there are minor children involved. An order for child support can require that payments be made for many years. Child support, in combination with child custody agreements, can be some the most contentious aspects of a divorce.
For many years the divorce rate in Massachusetts and across the country has remained fairly stable. Authorities note that it has ranged between 46 and 53 percent for quite some time. Until recently, many of those couples deciding to divorce reached a settlement in which the wife was paid spousal support and child support by her ex-husband.
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.
In a Massachusetts divorce, child custody and support can be among the most contentious issues. Parents often argue over who will be the primary caregiver of a child and who will be responsible for the payment of child support. One recent case confronting these issues concerned children who were conceived through in vitro fertilization after the spouses were separated.