My ex husband have been divorced for almost 6 years. My daughter and I live in Wayland close to my parents and they have provided a lot of emotional and financial support as my ex has been in contempt of divorce decree for several years. Now, I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do as my daughter is approaching 18 years of age, when she will be emancipated. He recently started paying about 25% of the ordered child support and ignoring the rest saying “oh well, she’s almost 18.” At this point, is there anything I can do?
From what you have written, it appears as though your ex-husband is in contempt of a Court Order. You can file a Complaint for Contempt in the Probate and Family Court. Where were you divorced? Where does your ex-husband live? You live in Wayland, which is in Middlesex County. If you and your ex-husband were divorced in Middlesex County, then you would file the complaint in that county. If not, I will need the answers to those questions to determine where you would file.
In addressing the emancipation of your daughter, turning eighteen does not automatically mean she will be emancipated. If she still lives with you and is principally dependent on you, then she may not be emancipated until she is 21 years old; and if she is a full-time student, then not until she is 23! I would like to see your separation agreement or the Order from the Court to make sure there is nothing that states that child support shall end when she turns 18 regardless of whether she lives with you or is in school.
You can have DOR enforce the payments by requesting that service with the Court when you go in on the hearing on contempt. The Court, if he is found in contempt, will likely order that he begin paying the full amount now and will add an additional amount to take into account the arrearage.
The Wayland Divorce Contempt Attorneys at Leone Law Offices represent clients throughout Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Metrowest region including Wayland and the neighboring communities including: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, and Wayland.