The Child Support Enforcement Division of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) stands ready to serve you. However, we can not properly manage your case(s) if you do not keep us up-to-date regarding changes in your situation. It's very important that you call us immediately if:
- Your address;
- Your home or cell phone number changes;
- You change employers;
- Your employer's name, address, or phone number changes;
- You change your Social Security number;
- You change your driver's license number;
- The court orders a change in your child's custody arrangements; and/or
- You receive any new court orders relating to child support.
- Determine what services are available and best suited to establish paternity and establish, enforce and modify a support order.
- Collect support payments and apply them first to satisfy current support (what's due that month). If payments received within a month are more that the total due for that month, then they are applied to past-due support (except for the collections made by federal tax refund intercept, which must be applied to past-due support only).
- Send child support to every parent or guardian that has a child support order. When one parent is responsible for children who live in different households, support collections may not be enough to pay each child support order in full. In that case, we allocate the payments so that each household receives its share of the collection. We keep track of all unpaid support and use our enforcement services to collect those amounts.
- Upon request of either parent, review support orders for consistency with child support guidelines and determine if it might be appropriate to ask the court to modify the amount of the child support order and assist in processing requests for modification of the order.
- Select and implement appropriate enforcement remedies, such as bank levies, tax refund intercepts and credit reporting, to collect overdue support if the case meets our criteria for the enforcement action.
- Cannot get involved in visitation, custody or property settlement issues, whether in a divorce action or any other legal proceeding.
- Cannot provide child support enforcement services directly to you if you are a child seeking support from your parents. Your guardian or custodian, however, may seek assistance from us on your behalf.
- Cannot pursue criminal enforcement except in extraordinary circumstances. Criminal enforcement is used in specific and rare instances when the District Attorney involved decides to prosecute.
- Cannot provide legal representation to you or the other parent. A Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement attorney is not assigned to every case and, when an attorney is assigned, the attorney's client is the agency, not you or the other parent. You can contact the following organizations for legal assistance - Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston Bar Association, and The Massachusetts Bar Association. You might also want to visit the Probate & Family Court Web site at www.mass.gov/courts. Here you will find information designed to assist people who do not have legal representation, or who need to learn to navigate the court system.
- Cannot hire private investigators to determine whether a parent may be failing to report all income.
- Cannot modify the provisions of an existing court order. The terms of a court order can be modified only by a court.
- Cannot establish or modify orders for spousal support or alimony. We will, however, enforce and collect an alimony order as long as we are enforcing and collecting an accompanying child support order.
- Cannot enforce orders that are not for a standard amount of money, e.g., orders that call for the payment of a percentage of income.