Parent to receive payments:
  1. I received my last TAFDC check last week, when will I begin to receive my child support payments?
  2. According to the Voice Response System (VRS), a payment was issued to me on Friday. Why haven't I received it yet?
  3. Child support payments are to be withheld from the noncustodial parent's pay, but the employer is not deducting the payments. What can I do?
  4. Why does it take approximately three weeks for my direct deposit application to be processed?
  5. The parent to pay support is receiving unemployment benefits. Will you be able to garnish them for child support?

Parent to make payments:

  1. My child support obligation is being deducted from my unemployment benefits. However, I am receiving a bill and my balance is increasing. Does this mean you are not getting my payments?
  2. I have a child support order that states I am to pay a certain amount towards my balance on a weekly basis. Why are you taking additional enforcement actions against me?
  3. My child is receiving child support from my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) check. Why does DOR say that I owe a balance?
  4. One of my children has turned 18. Why do I still have to pay support for him/her?
  5. I now have custody of my child. Why are you still deducting child support from my wages?

Parent to receive payments

1. I received my last TAFDC check last week, when will I begin to receive my child support payments?
If the other parent is paying current child support, child support payments will be directed to you as soon as the Department of Transitional Assistance closes your case. The "official" closing date of your public assistance case is about two weeks after you receive your last TAFDC payment.

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2. According to the Voice Response System (VRS), a payment was issued to me on Friday. Why haven't I received it yet?
The date you hear on the VRS is actually the date that the payment posted to your account. That is, the date we entered information to our system regarding the fact that the payment had been received. Child support checks are mailed on the next business day after the payment is posted. Therefore, if a payment posted to your account on a Friday, a child support check would be mailed to you the following Monday. For faster receipt of payments, we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit. Visit our web site at: www.mass.gov/cse and click on Use Direct Deposit under Key Resources.

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3. Child support payments are to be withheld from the noncustodial parent's pay, but the employer is not deducting the payments. What can I do?
The law requires employers to comply with wage withholding orders. If you notify DOR that you have a court ordered wage assignment for child support but the noncustodial parent's employer is failing to withhold and/or remit payments, DOR will contact the employer and take the steps necessary to enforce the order.

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4. Why does it take approximately three weeks for my direct deposit application to be processed?
It takes approximately three weeks for DOR to take the steps necessary to set up direct deposit. For example, we must confirm the information you provide with your bank and we must conduct a "test" with the bank to ensure that the electronic transfer of the funds works correctly. Once we have tested and verified that everything works correctly, the next child support payment is made by direct deposit.

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5. The parent to pay support is receiving unemployment benefits. Will you be able to garnish them for child support?
Yes. DOR obtains information on parents who receive unemployment benefits from Massachusetts' Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). If the parent is receiving benefits, the child support payments will be deducted and sent to us. (There may be a delay of a week or two.) The parent may not be getting enough in unemployment benefits to allow the whole child support payment to be deducted. However, even if the whole amount is not deducted, the parent remains responsible for paying the balance due.

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Parent to make payments:

1. My child support obligation is being deducted from my unemployment benefits. However, I am receiving a bill and my balance is increasing. Does this mean you are not getting my payments?
DOR will continue to send you a bill even when we are receiving your support payments from unemployment. Because of the schedule on which we receive the child support from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) your bill may indicate you are two weeks behind.

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2. I have a child support order that states I am to pay a certain amount towards my balance on a weekly basis. Why are you taking additional enforcement actions against me?
Past-due child support is not an installment debt that you can pay over time. If you have income or assets that can be used the pay the amount in full, you must do so. The law allows DOR to use all of its administrative enforcement measures, such as seizing bank accounts and intercepting federal and state income tax refunds, even if you are making periodic payments toward the arrears.

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3. My child is receiving child support from my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) check. Why does DOR say that I owe a balance?
The "dependent's allotment" that your child receives because you receive SSDI is not a replacement for your child support payment. However, the court may give you credit against your child support payment based on the amount your child receives as an allotment. A judge is the only person who has the ability to review your case, possibly terminate your child support order, and give you credit for the amount the child has received from Social Security. We can help you go to court for a change in your child support order based on your SSDI payments.

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4. One of my children has turned 18. Why do I still have to pay support for him/her?
 

Unless your court order specifies a specific amount per child, the amount of your child support order will remain the same until the order ends for all the children. A Massachusetts child support order may end when a child turns 18, but also may continue up to the child’s 23rd birthday, depending on the child’s circumstances and the order of the court. These are the guidelines DOR follows to determine the end date of an order to pay current support:

  • If a court order provides that current child support ends on a specific date (month, day, and year), DOR will stop collecting current child support on the date specified in the court order.
  • If the order states that current child support will continue based on certain circumstances and refers to the child’s 23rd birthday, DOR will stop collecting child support when the youngest child reaches age 23. 
  • In all other cases with Massachusetts orders, DOR will stop collecting current child support when the youngest child reaches age 21.  If the order is from another state, DOR will stop collecting current support based on the law of that state.

If either parent disagrees with that end date, he or she can go to court and obtain a new court order clarifying the end date. DOR will update its records if the court orders a different end date.

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5. I now have custody of my child. Why are you still deducting child support from my wages?
DOR will stop collecting your current child support order if you have a court order stating that you have custody of your child and that your current child support order has been terminated. Without the court order, DOR cannot stop collecting.