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What to do when a paying parent moves out of state

Oftentimes after a divorce, a former spouses may take the opportunity to move out of state. When the marriage involves children, this can cause turmoil in regards to child custody arrangements, especially regarding child support.

If the non-custodial parent were to move out of state without giving their new address or information to the custodial parent, the Department of Revenue could potentially help locate them. However, the DOR would only have limited information available to them in their databases, so any information the custodial parent has about the other parent's whereabouts could be helpful.

If a parent has made a move to another state and has stopped making child support payments, the DOR would be able to enlist that state's assistance in enforcing the child support order. That state could use methods such as property liens on bank accounts or rental property as well as wage garnishment in order to collect the child support payments. Additionally, because it is a state and federal crime to withhold child support payments, the DOR could work with the U.S. Attorney or District Attorney in order to pursue criminal charges against the paying parent.

When a non-custodial parent in Massachusetts stops making child support payments, the custodial parent may wish to work with a family law attorney. An attorney could help to pursue enforcement of the child support order. Additionally, a lawyer could assist parents in making changes to existing child support orders after life-altering events take place, such as a change in employment or a move to another state.

Source: Mass.Gov, "Parent to Pay Lives in Another State or Outside of the United States", October 16, 2014

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