Ensuring that non-custodial parents pay child support is sometimes a challenge for the justice system, and states have various measures in place to enforce child support payment arrangements. In many states, parents who fail to pay child support can have certain funds garnished and can be sent to prison. According to a report in The New York Times, the threat of prison is believed to be an effective incentive for parents who have the ability to pay but refuse to do so.
Even if a parent is in jail, he or she can still be ordered by a Massachusetts court to pay child support. The process works differently depending on whether there was an existing court order for support at the time the person went to jail.
Massachusetts law regarding payment of child support can be difficult to navigate. It may be even more challenging to collect child support across state lines. Failure to make child support payments may result in a court seizure of bank accounts and garnished wages. Recently, one man has been faced with hardship after falling delinquent in child support payments.
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.