offered by
related to

Get a child support order

Learn about the process for getting a child support order.

Probate and Family Court locations

The Details of Get a child support order

What you need for Get a child support order

To get a child support order, you need to file a complaint (a written request of what you're seeking) in court. Start in the Registry of the Probate and Family Court for the county where you live.

If you're married to the other parent

If you're married and seeking a divorce, you file where you last lived together with your spouse if at least one of you still lives in that county. If you've both moved from the county where you last lived together, then you can file in the county where either you or your spouse now lives.

  • If you're seeking a divorce, see divorce for information and forms.
  • If you want to file for separate support but don't want a divorce, see separate support for information and forms.

If you aren't married to the other parent

If the other parent hasn't signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (a legal form signed by the mother and father, acknowledging they are the parents of the child) or been determined by a judge to be the parent, file a Complaint to Establish Paternity (CJD 106) in the county where the child lives.

If you aren't married to the other parent but paternity has been established by a voluntary acknowledgment or a court judgment, file a Complaint for Support, Custody, Visitation (CJD 109) in the county where the child lives.

Fees for Get a child support order

For more information on paying fees and what to do if you can't afford them, see information on Indigency (waiver of court fees).   

Name Fee Unit
Filing fee $100 each
Surcharge $15 each
Summons $5 each

How to file Get a child support order

File the forms at the Probate and Family Court county where you live.

File the forms at the Probate and Family Court county where you live.

Next steps for Get a child support order

  1. Serve your papers on the other parent

    When you file your complaint, you'll receive a summons (a court form that notifies the other parent of what you have filed) from the court. Make copies of your complaint and the summons to keep for your records. You will then need to notify the other parent through Service of Process.

    The constable or deputy sheriff will deliver the complaint and summons to the other parent and prove the delivery by signing the back of the summons and explaining how the non-custodial parent was served (for example “in hand”). This is called a return of service. The constable or sheriff will return it to you by mail. They may charge a service of process fee, which can vary.   

    You must file the return of service with the court as soon as you can. The court can't make a support order unless the proof that the other parent was served has been filed with the court.

  2. File for temporary orders

    Next, if you're trying to establish a child support order quickly, you may file a motion for temporary orders at the court. Use the Motion (CJD 400) form and list what orders you want from the court.  Ask court personnel for possible dates for a hearing on your motion. Mail a copy of the motion and notice of the hearing date to the other parent.

    Each parent must file a financial statement. A financial statement is a court form that requires you to list your income, expenses, what you own, and what you owe.

Downloads for Get a child support order

Contact for Get a child support order

Feedback

Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? * required
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.

If you need to report child abuse, any other kind of abuse, or need urgent assistance, please click here.

Feedback