Below is a listing of common questions we receive from people who are considering applying for our services. You may apply for services online at our Case Manager or download a copy of the Application for Full Child Support Services ( PDF) and mail it to us.
- What child support services are available through DOR?
- Who is eligible for services?
- How do I obtain services?
- What other information will I need to provide?
- Will DOR share this information?
- What costs are involved?
- Locate the other parent.
- Establish paternity if your child was born out of wedlock.
- Arrange for paternity testing for both parents and the child.
- Establish a child support order, including an order for medical insurance coverage.
- Establish and enforce a medical insurance order.
- Collect child support payments and send them to the custodial parent.
- Review your child support order for potential modification.
- Enforce a child support order.
- Enforce and collect an existing child support order; or
- Establish paternity for a child under 18 years of age; or
- Establish a child support order for a child under 18 years of age; or
- Modify a child support order for a child under 18 years of age; or
- Enforce past-due support owed under a court order for child support.
If you apply for services, both you and the other parent become our customers.
3. How do I obtain services?
We open a case and begin providing child support services to you as soon as you complete and submit the Application. Please make sure that you read carefully Part 1 and that you enclose any required documents.
If we find that we need additional information, we will notify you.
4. What other information will I need to provide?
Although we have access to several different sources of information, you know the facts of your case much better that we do and we will rely heavily on the information you provide. The more accurate and detailed the information is, the better able we will be to assist you.
- If you have an existing child support order that you want DOR/CSE to collect, modify or enforce, enclose a copy of your original child support order including any acknowledgments of parentage or any court judgments establishing paternity and any subsequent orders upon submission of your Application. If your order for child support was established in another state, enclose a certified copy of the court order. You can request a certified copy at the clerk's office in the court that entered the order.
- If you want past-due child support collected, you must complete an Affidavit of Arrears and return it to us.
- If you want your medical support order enforced, enclose copies of all of your medical support orders. These orders may be included in your child support orders. Enclose certified copies if these orders were entered in another state.
- If you are divorced, enclose a copy of your divorce decree. Enclose a certified copy if the divorce decree was entered in another state.
- If you want to establish paternity, enclose a copy of your child's birth certificate.
- If paternity has been established, enclose copies of any voluntary acknowledgments of parentage, court judgments or orders establishing paternity, and a copy of your child's birth certificate.
- If you are married and living apart from your spouse, enclose a copy of your marriage certificate.
- If you have child support cases with more than one other parent, you need to complete an Application and Agreement for each parent.
5. Does DOR share personal information about parents who have child support cases?
DOR has strict rules against releasing personal information. If one parent requests information about the other, DOR cannot provide it. However, DOR cannot guarantee that parents' personal information will be completely confidential. For example, DOR shares information with other state agencies such as the Department of Transitional Assistance, MassHealth, and the courts. Also, DOR provides information to other entities (including employers, health insurance companies, and other child support agencies) to enforce child and medical support orders. DOR is required to provide addresses on court documents. Even if a judge orders an address to be kept off court documents, when DOR files court actions to establish paternity or to establish, enforce or modify child and medical support orders, the county and state where each parent lives will appear on the documents. If you have any concerns that receiving child support services could result in a risk to you or your child(ren)'s safety, please call us at 800-332-2733 or 617-660-1234. If you are completing an application, make sure you fill out the section that asks about any safety issues.
6. What costs are involved?
There may be fees for our services based on what it costs us to provide them or in accordance with federal regulations. Cost of litigation (court activity) or case specific services (for example, deposition or service of court papers) may also be passed on to you. Additionally, a case involving a noncustodial parent who lives in another state may involve fees for services provided by that state. You will be informed in advance of any fee charged. In certain situations, we may be able to bill or seek reimbursement from a noncustodial parent for the cost of services.
Once we open a case, our telephone automated Voice Response System (VRS) is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to provide updated information on your case as well as general information about our child support services. Case information will also be available to you through the Interactive Case Manager on our website www.mass.gov/cse when you use the Personal Identification Number (PIN) assigned to you when we open your case.