In the event of a divorce, one parent may be ordered by the court to pay child support. Under Massachusetts law, both parents are required to support their children—and this is true regardless of marital status (whether the parents are married, divorced, separated, or were never married). The parent the child lives with a majority of the time is termed the primary custodial parent. The noncustodial parent may be required to pay child support.
Massachusetts child support law is complicated, but there are several things you should know.
One, child support may be used to pay for housing, food, clothing, education, and insurance and medical costs.
Two, if one parent has received an order for child support and the other parent is not paying it, payment can be compelled. The procedure is to file a Complaint for Contempt with the court. This means that, if the other parent does not obey the child support order, he or she can be held in contempt and is subject to penalties. [Continue reading]