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Massachusetts child support enforcement: Jail time

Failing to pay child support can land a parent is a great deal of hot water. For instance, some may not know that those who are behind on paying this financial obligation can be arrested. While this is not often the first line of defense in child support enforcement in Massachusetts, it is a possibility when other options fail.

Recently, 12 people in another state -- 10 men and two women -- were arrested for not paying their court ordered support payments. While each owes a different sum, collectively they owe just under $80,000. Now, each of these individuals is due in court to make new payment arrangements so that they are no longer behind.

It was reported that a total of 17 children were being affected by these individuals' lack of payments. These children's basic needs have likely not been met due to a lack of funds. This is a concern that state and law enforcement officials, regardless of where one lives, takes very seriously.

Paying court ordered child support in Massachusetts or elsewhere is not considered optional. Those who feel that they cannot meet their support obligations do have options that can be pursued before enforcement strategies -- such as issuing warrants for arrests -- are utilized. Those who are ordered to pay child support but who are struggling economically can seek modifications. Generally, one must provide proof a change in financial circumstances in order for a modification request to be considered. If awarded, new payments can be arranged that will fit within one's budget.

Source:, "Montgomery County sheriff's deputies round up alleged child support scofflaws", Carl Hessler Jr., March 10, 2016

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