Q. I moved home to Morocco three years ago with our three children. My husband stayed in Massachusetts. Last year I filed for divorce but the court would not address the issue of child support – only custody and the actual divorce. I was told the only the only thing they could do was open a file and send a request to Massachusetts to do an investigation in to my Ex’s income.
That doesn’t seem quite right to me. I don’t know why Massachusetts would do this or even who a request to investigate would be sent to. My Ex ignored the divorce proceeding and has not supported me or our children since I left. Is there a process to make him cooperate with an investigation initiated in Morocco because I cannot find one on the internet?
There is a better way to do this. Rather than fight with him about whether Morocco has jurisdiction over him for purposes of making financial orders, you should file a complaint for child support in Massachusetts. You can voluntarily submit to jurisdiction in Massachusetts even though you no longer live here. Because your Ex does live here, he cannot avoid the process here. You should also file a Motion for Temporary Child Support asking the judge to set a temporary amount of support. Ask for a hearing on that motion as soon as possible. The good news is the courts are still hearing motions over zoom so you can attend from Morocco.
Once you serve him with a compliant for child support, you will have the right to ask for his paystubs and tax returns so you can determine his income. Once you have that information, you can complete the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines worksheet which will tell you how much child support he should be paying. You should also serve him with a Demand for a Financial Statement so he has notice of the need to prepare the form before the court hearing. You will also need to complete one because the judge considers both of your incomes in setting the support order.
If you seek child support in Massachusetts rather than Morocco, you will receive Massachusetts guideline child support – not support at the level you may expect to receive in Morocco. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will make a big difference for you and your children.
Then, when you have your support order established, I recommend you sign up to become a customer of the Department of Revenue for collection purposes. In that way, if he decides to ignore the order and his obligations any further, DOR can enforce it on your behalf. They have powers of persuasion when it comes to enforcement that the rest of us lack.