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Child support enforcement mistake lands father in jail

Financial dilemmas can affect parents who are required to pay child support. It also affects Massachusetts parents who are ordered to receive those payments as well. Oftentimes, when back child support is owed, custodial parents contact their local child support enforcement agency for wage garnishment and possibly an arrest warrant.

One man was ordered to pay child support, but eventually he lost his job. Earlier this year, he was late on one child support payment due to his unemployment. Reportedly, a child support deduction was to come from his wages at his new job, but a mistake was made by his employer. At some point in time, the man was arrested and spent one week in jail for non-payment of child support. He was recently released, but he is now $10,000 more in a financial hole.

At a recent court appearance, it was stated that the man paid all monies owed, but his employer did not withhold child support. The child’s mother, on the other hand, did not agree with the man’s release and requested that he spend one month in jail. It was pointed out that the smallest clerical mistake can land someone in jail.

It can be beneficial for parents and children to work out child support enforcement matters in a flexible manner. In cases like these, it is possible to come to an amicable resolution without ever entering the courtroom. Child support can sometimes be modified by simply asking the clerk to provide a modification form or by printing out a form online and bringing it to the courthouse after it’s completed. However, when cases are more complicated, the family court system in Massachusetts resolves these types of issues to ensure that the interest of the children comes first.

Source:, "Houston dad jailed over clerical child support error getting released from jail", Tom Abrahams, July 2, 2014

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