Posted by Attorney Bruce Watson –
If you’re in Massachusetts and dealing with the prospect of a spouse not paying their child support payment, you may have to go through Child Support Enforcement. This is a service available through the state and within the Massachusetts State Department of Revenue. When you contact CSE about a spouse not paying child support as earlier agreed to, you have a number of good legal options available to make sure it’s paid. But CSE can also help settle other issues with your children following a divorce.
The Complete Role of Child Support Enforcement
While you can always go through family court, CSE can take care of various issues related to your children without going to court. If you happened to have dissolved a common law marriage, CSE can help determine the paternity of any child born in the interim. They can even help in determining medical support obligations for your children. Most of all, they’re there to help enforce these obligations as well as child support. They have significant legal authority when it comes to enforcing a court ordered support plan.
The Power of Massachusetts CSE
CSE helps obtain delinquent payments from the offending spouse by first mailing a notice that the spouse is in arrears. In the notice, CSE lists the eventual actions that may be taken in the event payment isn’t made. This also includes the total of interest accumulated since the last payment. Additionally, CSE assists those who can’t afford the payments and readjusts them so the plan and payments are reasonable.
If the first notice is ignored, CSE works like a collection agency, except with actionable power from the state. They can withhold as much as 25% from the paying spouse’s monthly earnings.
More drastic measures can mean levies on bank accounts and liens on property. They’ll even track tax returns or pensions and leverage those assets if necessary to help pay back the debt.
As a last resort, CSE will suspend the spouse’s drivers license until support payment is made.
Child Support Enforcement’s mission is to ensure your child gets the support payment they deserve. Quite often CSE is able to establish a new payment plan that works for both parties.
If you have questions regarding the enforcement of child support payments or need assistance working with Massachusetts’ Child Support Enforcement, please give us a call to discuss your case.