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How does Massachusetts implement administrative enforcement?

In Massachusetts, those who don’t pay their child support can be forced to do so through administrative enforcement. The Child Support Enforcement Division is responsible for collecting and enforcing child support and does so through a fully automated program. That means that anyone who is overdue in paying child support may be subject to the administrative collection actions.

The first thing the state does is to send a notice to the parents who haven’t paid their support on time. If they are past due on a payment, the notice is sent to remind them of the amount due and includes information on interest and penalties that the parent may face. The parent is also notified about ways the department can collect the funds.

Several methods can be used to collect past-due child support including liens, bank levies and income withholding orders. Each works slightly differently but aims to collect past-due child support to give the other parent or child in question. An administrative action may also be used to increase the amount the delinquent parent owes. This is called an administrative increase of support obligation. It requires an additional 25 percent of the payment on top of what is already owed. This stays in effect as long as an amount that is past-due is owed, so this encourages parents to pay their support on time.

Other potential ways to get the child support owed is by denying passport services, intercepting tax refunds and by suspending the delinquent parent’s license. If an insurance claim happens to be received by the delinquent party, it can be taken by the state as payment for the past-due support.

Source: Mass.Gov, “Administrative Enforcement” accessed Feb. 18, 2015

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