All About The Massachusetts Child Support Arrears Forgiveness Program

Child Support Payments All About The Massachusetts Child Support Arrears Forgiveness Program

All About The Massachusetts Child Support Arrears Forgiveness Program

Every state in the US has a debt reduction program that allows non-custodial parents who owe back child support to reduce their debt. It's important to note that the program only works for those who owe arrears to the government and not the custodial parent.

To be eligible for the program, you must show the ability to pay current child support and regular debt payments. The application process for the Child Support Arrears Forgiveness Program is lengthy and complex.

However, DoNotPay can ease your workload by helping file a persuasive request letter within minutes. We will also handle the follow-up process on your behalf to ensure you get a favorable outcome.

What Do Arrears Mean in Child Support?

Child support arrears is the amount owed by the supporting parent to the custodial parent. A child support order states the specific amount payable to the custodial parent every month to cater to the child's needs.

The amount is then divided between the parents depending on their income. The non-custodial/supporting parent is obligated to pay their share directly to the custodial parent. If the supporting parent defaults on payments or pays less than the stipulated amount, the difference is what is referred to as child support arrears or back child support

Do Child Support Arrears Ever Go Away?

Child support arrears do not just go away even when the child becomes of age or is emancipated. While child support is payable until the child in question turns 18 or becomes emancipated, you still owe arrears, you are obligated to pay until the debt is fully settled. 

Filing for bankruptcy is a viable strategy used by many to settle debts. However, it's important to note that bankruptcy does not eliminate child support arrearage.

Back child support accrues interest at a rate of 6 percent. Consult the child support office to help you determine how much you owe, then apply for the forgiveness program to help lower your debt.

Note that if you owe child support arrearage to your former partner, the arrears forgiveness program will only forgive the interest and not the principal amount owed.

What Happens if You Don't Pay Back Child Support?

Child support laws vary from state to state. However, every state law takes child support matters very seriously. There are great consequences for not paying child support including:

  • Arrest of the delinquent parent – A child support order holds as much weight as any other court order. The court can find the delinquent parent in contempt for failing to pay child support as stipulated in the court order and issue an arrest warrant.
  • Wage garnishment – The wages of the supporting parent may be garnished to offset the child support payments owed.
  • License suspension – The court may suspend the driver's license, business license, or any recreational license of the delinquent parent to force them to conform.
  • Freezing of assets – If the default parent has personal assets, the court may place a lien on them to cater for the owed debt.
  • Claiming tax refunds – Any tax refunds owed may be claimed by the court to cover late child support payments.
  • Credit reporting – The court may report back child support to the credit bureau, which will have a serious impact on the delinquent parent's credit score.

How to Lower Child Support Arrears on Your Own

Child support arrears accumulate, and over time, you may have a huge debt that can affect your finances. You can lower your child support arrears in one of the following ways:

1. Negotiate with the Custodial Parent

More often than not, emotions are heightened during separation, leading to spiteful decisions. Consider having a one-on-one conversation with your ex-spouse, explain your situation, and hopefully negotiate more favorable child support payment terms.

While negotiating with the custodial may be a long shot, it's worth it and there are no legal implications.

2. Make Timely Payments to Avoid Interest and Penalties

Child support arrearage accrues interest at a rate of 6 percent. Late payments are also subject to penalties depending on your state of residence. The cumulative debt plus interest and penalties can be heavy on your finances. It's important to make timely child support payments to avoid paying heavy penalties and interest.

3. Apply for Child Support Modification

Child support is calculated based on each parent's financial ability. That said, changes in income can affect child support obligations such as:

  • Job loss
  • Increased income
  • Decreased income
  • Bankruptcy

In such cases, the supporting parent may file for child support modification to reduce their financial obligation. Note that modification does not reduce the arrears, rather the subsequent child support payments which reduce possible future arrears. If you owe back child support, you still have to pay until the debt is settled.

4. Apply for Child Support Arrears Forgiveness Program

To lower your arrears, apply for the child support forgiveness program. The program takes into account your financial ability and the total payments made so far. If eligible, your total sum owed may be reduced to a smaller amount but not fully erased.

Child Support Guides by State 

To understand more about child support laws and your obligations as a parent, find your specific state guide from DoNotPay.

The table below shows the DoNotPay child support state guides outlining everything regarding child support. 

DelawareNew MexicoWashington State
HawaiiNew HampshireCalifornia
MissouriNevadaNew York
ConnecticutArizonaNew Jersey
South CarolinaAlabamaIowa
North DakotaWest VirginiaPennsylvania
LouisianaOregonNorth Carolina
Rhode IslandIdahoTexas

How to Lower Child Support Payments With the Help of DoNotPay

Trying to lower your child support payments and arrears is a long and complex process that involves a lot of documentation. Moreover, it may take up to months to have your case reviewed before you can be considered eligible for either child support modification or arrears program forgiveness.

DoNotPay provides a simpler approach to lowering your child support payments by handling most of the work on your behalf. 

Here's how to lower child support debt using DoNotPay:

  1. Search child support on DoNotPay and select the state your child support agreement was established in.
  2. Answer a series of questions about your current financial situation and your past payments to help guide the application.
  3. Confirm your current contact information, and enter the location of the county court that established your child support agreement, so we can mail your request on your behalf!

Why Use DoNotPay to Lower Your Child Support Arrears?

Handling procedures on your own is frustrating, time-consuming and there's no guarantee of success. DoNotPay can not only help you get the most favorable outcome for your child support arrears case but can also help you get you into the Child Support Arrears Forgiveness Program. We have access to all information and documentation needed to present the best case on your behalf. Sign up today to get started.

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