Friday, March 29, 2013

How can the DOR help collect child support?

You may have seen that the latest New Jersey Powerball Winner who won $338,000,000 owes $29,000 in child support. If the mother who is owed child support was using the state government to help her collect that support, then that child support amount will likely be deducted from the winnings before he even receives them.

This is just one reason that you might want the state to assist you in collecting your child support, especially if there are arrears. In Massachusetts, the agency that oversees the collection of child support is called the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Division. The DOR CSE receives a copy of every child support order in Massachusetts, and when the order is created the child support recipient must decide if they want DOR to collect the child support from the payor.

In many cases, recipients simply choose to have the amounts paid directly, and only involve DOR if there is a problem. However, every recipient has the right to request DOR assistance from the beginning of their case. If the payor is employed, then DOR sends an order to the employer and collects the child support directly from the payor's paycheck. The downside to using DOR is that the payment will then typically be delayed one to two weeks before it reaches the recipient. The upside is that DOR is tracking the payments and the payor has no control over when payment is made since it is taken directly from their pay.

In addition, the DOR has other powers to collect child support when a payor falls behind or is unemployed. For example, DOR can divert tax refunds to pay overdue child support, can collect interest on arrears, and as in the case of the powerball winner, can take lottery winnings as well.

In addition, DOR may file Contempt or Modification complaints on behalf of some clients. While the DOR complaints are generally much slower than using an attorney, it is a viable alternative for those who cannot afford counsel and may not be comfortable navigating the court paperwork alone.

For more information about DOR/CSE in Massachusetts visit their webpage here.

Or click here to find more information about child support generally in Massachusetts.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I have to agree with you on a lot of what you have written.


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