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Child support enforcement may be necessary

As a family unit changes due to a divorce, child support may be considered if children are involved. In certain situations, meeting the financial demands of child support could be difficult. Unemployment, illness or injury can play a factor in missing payments. In other cases, a non-custodial parent may simply neglect the responsibility of financial support. If needed, garnishing the paying parent's wages can be a means of enforcement of a Massachusetts court-ordered child support arrangement.

Recently, an American man was arrested for evading child support payment for the last 20 years. He was detained in Canada, where he assumed a new identity to avoid the $560,000 debt he accrued over the last two decades. Initially, in 1989, he was ordered to support his four children with a $100 payment per month. After claiming medical disability and unemployment, his payment was adjusted to just $14 a month.

Seven years later, the court caught wind that the father of four was running a successful business online. The court again adjusted his monthly child support to reflect his lucrative income. However, the man stopped making payments in 1996, which led to a warrant for his arrest. As he fled the country to avoid jail time, his unpaid payments continued to accumulate for 20 years.

Each Massachusetts family faces different circumstances when it comes to children and divorce. As the parents seek for what is best for their children in the midst of dissolving a marriage, there are times when legal action needs to be taken for the benefit of the children. When needed, an experienced attorney can help one attempt to obtain necessary modifications to an existing child support agreement, and an attorney can also fight to help bring enforcement of the full amount of child support to which the custodial parent is entitled. 

Source: Newsweek, "'Deadbeat' Dad Owes $560,000 in Child Support, Arrested After 20 Years", Ewan Palmer, Feb. 23, 2018

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