Attention: Military Reservists & National Guard - Are you being called to duty?
The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSE) recognizes that many parents who have a child support case with us are being called to active military duty. CSE joins those who thank you for your dedicated service to our country. We also want to assist parents with their child support issues as they make the transition from civilian life to full-time military duty to ensure child support remains paid in full and on time.
We would also like parents to better understand how the call up to military duty can or may affect their child support case, specifically regarding Income Withholding; Modification; Medical Support; and Passport Requests.
If you have been called to active duty, it is important that you:
- Contact us at 800-332-2733 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org (local callers must contact us at 617-660-1234. This includes callers from Charlestown, Chelsea, East Boston, Everett and Revere);
- Tell us your military branch and date of activation; and
- Give us your new address.
If you pay child support and the payments are withheld directly from your paycheck, please contact us as soon as possible. We can transfer the income withholding from your civilian employer to the Department of Defense (DFAS) so that your child support will be deducted from your military pay. There may be some delay before the income withholding at DFAS goes into effect. To avoid any lapse in payments during this time, you must make payments on your own using our payment coupons until you see the child support deducted from your military pay.
Military activation may mean a sizeable reduction in monthly income. The change in income may justify a change in the amount of the child support order. Only a court can modify the amount of your child support order; however DOR can assist you in asking the court for a reduction. For the forms and instructions needed to request a modification of your child support order. Remember -- even if your income is reduced due to military activation, you are still responsible for paying the current court order amount on time and in full. DOR will continue to use all available enforcement remedies to collect any past-due support.
If you are ordered to provide health insurance coverage for your children, your call to military duty means your existing insurance coverage will end. However, you may enroll your children in the military health care coverage TRICARE. You must notify us if you will no longer be maintaining your existing health insurance plan, and we can then assist in enrolling your children in the military's TRICARE coverage.
Your call to active military duty may require you to obtain a valid passport prior to deployment. The State Department will refuse to issue or renew passports to parents who owe $2,500 or more in past-due child support. If you owe $2,500 or more in past-due support, please contact us to discuss payment options so that you can obtain your passport.
Authorization for Release of Information
Our policy prevents us from discussing a child support case with anyone other than you or the other parent in the case without your permission. If you have been called to active military duty and want to designate someone else to speak with us on your behalf, you must provide a completed Authorization for Release of Information to us. Once we have this form on file, we will be able to discuss your case with the individual you designate.
- Let us know you've been called up to active military duty and give us your new address and/or employment status.
- If your child support is deducted from your paycheck, have your employer e-mail Employer Services email@example.com or call us at 800-332-2733 (local callers, 617-660-1234) to report your date of activation.
- If your income will be much lower while on active duty, contact us and we can assist you in asking a court to adjust your child support order. Until your order is modified, you must continue to pay your current court order amount on time and in full.
- If your military deployment requires a passport and you owe $2,500 or more in past-due support, contact us immediately to discuss payment options so you can get your passport.
- If you want a relative, friend, or other person you trust to assist you with your child support case while you are on active duty, be sure to send us a Authorization for Release of Information authorizing us to discuss your case with that person.