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Lowering credit scores is a form of child support enforcement

As a parent, when money is tight, it is not always easy to pay for everything children need. This is especially true for non-custodial parents who are required to pay for their children, while trying to meet their own personal needs. However, making continued payments is important, as the potential enforcement options that can be utilized to collect from non-custodial parents residing in Massachusetts and elsewhere can be financially devastating.

When one fails to make child support payments, those missed payments can be reported to credit agencies. When this happens, one’s credit score can quickly take a dive. This can affect one’s ability to obtain loans and other lines of credit for several years.

Nationally, the number of parents behind on child support payments is perhaps unexpectedly high. In the year 2015, child support debt was listed at more than $113 billion. That is certainly a significant sum, and it is not only hurting those who have been unable to pay but their children as well.

When non-custodial parents in Massachusetts or elsewhere find it difficult to make their child support payments, what are their options? While it may be possible to work out an agreement with the custodial parent, it is a better solution to utilize legal counsel and seek a formal modification in court, as agreements made between parties will not be honored by the court. By seeking to have a support order modified, if it is achieved, one will have the documents necessary to prove that a lowered payment has been put in place so that the custodial parent and the state cannot pursue enforcement options — as long as the new payment is kept current.

Source:, “Will Child Support Payments Affect My Credit?“, July 11, 2016


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