Child support in Massachusetts can be tricky to understand. It gets more difficult when you realize that you have stopped getting support even though your child’s other parent has been paying it. This often happens due to a hold being placed on your account. When this happens, you should be able to get information explaining why the account is on hold.
The Department of Revenue explains child support holds may occur for a few different reasons. Part or all of a payment may be put on hold if the payment is made by check and is over $5,000. Another reason could be your child’s other parent paid too much support so the overage amount is then held until your next payment date. Paying through a check may also result in a hold if previous checks have not cleared. If you or the other parent is requesting an action on the account, then payments may also be placed on hold.
Holds can be placed when money is taken from tax refunds to ensure the payer can have time to review the action. This type of hold usually lasts 45 to 180 days, depending on whether it is state or federal, and is so long because if the payer filed a joint return, his or her spouse can reclaim a portion of the return under the law.
Typically hold times can be as little as 14 days. It really depends on whether the hold is allowing for enforcement actions to take place or if it is simply to wait for a check to clear. This information is for education and is not legal advice.