What can be done about a huge amount of back child support owed?

Attorney Brad CunninghamQuestion:

My brother has a $130,000 judgment against him in Massachusetts for back child support. The state is hunting him down like a felon. Every time he gets a job, the majority of his paycheck is garnished making it impossible to live or move on with his life.

All he wants to do is be a part of his kids’ lives but this judgment is weighing over him and making it difficult for any parenting time. What do you suggest?

Answer:

First let me preface my answer by stating that I am licensed to practice law in Oklahoma and Texas and not in Massachusetts, so I am unable to give you any specific advice regarding your question because I am not familiar with Massachusetts statues and rules.  I would strongly encourage you to speak with an experienced family law attorney in your jurisdiction who is familiar with Massachusetts’ laws.

My experience with state child support enforcement agencies has been that they can be hard to work with when it comes to collecting back owed child support.  If there is a judgment, they will try to collect on it.  They often have several remedies from freezing accounts, to placing liens on property, to even having licenses suspended.

As I am not familiar with Massachusetts’ child support enforcement agencies I am not sure of the methods they may use to collect on this judgment amount.  They can also be difficult to negotiate with as well.  If you dispute the amount, I would strongly recommending contact a local attorney who is experienced in family law issues to determine your options.  Depending on how the judgment amount was determined you may have several routes available.

Concerning your brother’s time with children, every case is different.  Without knowing the specific facts as to why he was not allowed to have any involvement with the children it would be difficult for me evaluate your case.  If any time has passed since that determination was made, your brother may be able to petition the Court for a change in visitation schedule or even a change in custody.

Again, as these issues tend to be very fact intensive I would recommend consulting with an experienced family law attorney.

 

Bradley K. Cunningham is a Senior Attorney in the Tulsa, Oklahoma office of Cordell & Cordell where his primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Mr. Cunningham is licensed in the states of Oklahoma and Texas. 

After growing up in Tulsa, Mr. Cunningham moved to Arkansas where he received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He then returned to Oklahoma and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma.

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