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Options for parents trying to obtain child support

Obtaining child support can be a difficult task. Child support is created in order to ensure that the child has the financial support of both parents. Without this support, children may go without some of their basic needs. These payments are essential to the child's growth and development.

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement estimates that in 2009 $108 billion was owed to custodial parents in back payments. Several tips may help custodial parents in these difficult situations. It is always good for custodial parents to remain in contact with the other parent. Keeping them involved keeps the other parent interested in the child. Another tip is to ask the other parent to pay what they can. This follows the line of thinking that something is better than nothing.

When tips are not helping and custodial parents are struggling, they may turn to the court system to help them obtain payment. The State of Massachusetts is able to use several methods in order to enforce payment from a noncustodial parent.

For example, the state may decide to garnish wages from a parent who is not making the proper payments. The state can also intercept benefits that the individual receives, such as social security payments. States can further deny passports and suspend licenses to enforce payment. A last resort that the state can take is to impose jail time.

Custodial parents in the state of Massachusetts who find themselves in these difficult situations usually try their best to get the problem solved outside of court. But when that isn't possible it is important to have the right information in order to help protect the rights of both the custodial parents and the children.

Source: US News, "What to Do When You Ex Won't (or Can't) Pay Child Support," Geoff Williams, Nov. 21, 2013

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