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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 18A: Support obligations under prior law; enforcement; insurance coverage; amended orders

Section 18A. (a) Any order issued by a court pursuant to sections one, five, or fifteen as those sections appeared prior to the effective date of this section directing the defendant to pay certain sums periodically to the probation officer as a condition of releasing the defendant from custody on probation, shall continue in full force and effect, subject to the jurisdiction of said court and to change from time to time as circumstances may require, for a period not exceeding six years from said date. A voluntary agreement relating to the support of a spouse or child or children previously executed by the defendant may be admitted as evidence of the defendant's support obligation. If the court finds that the obligation imposed by such agreement is reasonable in the circumstance, and that the defendant has failed to comply with its terms, the court may include in any subsequent order the payment of any part or all of the arrears which accrued under such agreement if the complaint includes the period of such arrearage; provided, however, that when such agreement is executed with the department of public welfare or with any official of the court, such agreement shall not be enforceable unless the defendant was informed in writing at the time he executed the agreement that the failure to comply with the support order would result in the commencement of criminal nonsupport proceedings under this chapter against him. The probation officer subject to the direction of the court, shall pay over payments received by him to the IV–D agency, as set forth in chapter one hundred and nineteen A, which shall in turn make payments to the spouse or guardian or custodian of the child, or to the city, town, corporation, society or person supporting the spouse or child, or to the state treasurer for the use of the department of children and families when the payments are for the support of a child committed to it. If the court is satisfied by due proof under oath that at any time the defendant has violated the terms of the order for payments, it may proceed to try the defendant upon the original charge, or sentence him under the original plea or conviction, or enforce the suspended sentence, as the case may be.

(b) When the court reviews or modifies an order for support on behalf of a spouse or child, said court shall determine whether the obligor under such order has health insurance or other health coverage available to him through an employer or organization or has health insurance or other health coverage available to him at reasonable cost that may be extended to cover the spouse or child for whom support is ordered. When said court has determined that the obligor has such insurance or coverage available to him, said court shall include in the support order a requirement that the obligor exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of the spouse and child or obtain coverage for the spouse and child.

(c) Each order for support reviewed, modified, or otherwise brought before the court pursuant to this section shall be amended so as to conform to and shall thereafter be enforced in accordance with the provisions of section twelve of chapter one hundred and nineteen A.