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Courts track down those owing child support

Child support is awarded in order to help parents who provide physical custody to their children. The amount of money paid by the non-custodial parent can help provide for clothing, food and other day-to-day needs that the child may have. When these payments are not made in the state of Massachusetts, the child's needs may go unmet.

Court systems across the country are working to enforce child custody agreements that are laid out in court orders. When an individual does not pay, they may be faced with criminal charges. These charges can be enforced across the nation. Recently, a 28-year-old man was picked up in Massachusetts from a warrant that had been issued in Orange County, California. This man owes about $17,000 in child support.

Legitimate reasons may exist for missed child support payments. With the difficult economy many are struggling to find employment. Without solid employment, paying child support may be nearly impossible. When individuals find themselves in changed circumstances, they can ask the court to modify their current support agreement. These individuals should act quickly and inform the court of their circumstances, while still attempting to pay as much of the child support as they can.

When a non-custodial parent completely abandons paying and does not alert the court to a changed circumstance, the custodial parent has the right to enforce the custody agreement. This can be done through the legal system. When a Massachusetts court finds an parent "in contempt" of the court order, they may find a way to forcibly get the child support from the parent, or, if the money is unavailable, they may order jail time to punish the individual.

Child custody matters can be particularly complex and present a number of challenges to both custodial and non-custodial parents. Knowing the options in the state of Massachusetts often helps parents when making difficult decisions.

Source: Times-Herald Record, "5 appear in Goshen Village Court on child-support charges," Heather Yakin, June 16, 2013