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Child support difficult to pay for some Massachusetts parents

Child support awards are often viewed by the custodial parent as being for too little while, at the same time, child support awards are often viewed by the noncustodial parent as being for too much. Sometimes, though, both parents are in agreement on the amount of child support until something happens that is life-changing for one of the parents. Then, as seen in a recent case, the time that it takes for a court to modify child support ends up negatively impacting both parents and, more importantly, the child. For those in Massachusetts who have been affected by the recent economic downturn, the following story may sound all too familiar.

One parent recently told a national news organization about his situation -- a situation that many parents have faced over the past few years -- but one that may be repeated over and over again. This father's story began with his divorce which was granted before the recession of 2008. At the time of the divorce, he was a mortgage banker with a generous salary. Unfortunately, his lifestyle was about to change.

When the amount of this father's child support was decided, it was set at $1,000 per month. The father paid every month until the recession hit and he lost his job. While he was waiting for the court to modify his child support, which took 11 months, he slipped further and further behind on his payments. As a result of his inability to pay, he ended up spending 15 weekends in jail -- even though he had paid on-time for five years before losing his job. His experience led him to speak out in hopes of helping other parents.

When a parent goes through a difficult financial time, whether due to the loss of a job or lost work due to an injury, he or she may not be able to pay the amount of child support that was initially set. The stress of the lost income is then multiplied when a parent is faced with the added stress that comes from facing jail-time. In cases like this, it is more important than ever to have someone on his or her side who understands Massachusetts family law who can help that parent through the difficult time.

Source: Huffington Post, "Child Support: Man Says He Was An 'ATM Machine' After Divorce," Ashley Reich, June 19, 2013

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