Massachusetts law about child support

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on child support law.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.208, s.28 
Children; care, custody and maintenance; child support obligations; provisions for education and health insurance

MGL c.209D, s.1-9 
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

MGL c.273, s.1  
Failure to comply with support order

MGL c.273, s.15  
Duty to support children born out of wedlock

MGL c.273, s.15A  
Abandonment and wilful nonsupport

Massachusetts regulations

830 CMR 18.18A.1 
Cooperation by applicants for and recipients of public assistance with efforts by the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Department of Revenue to establish parentage and establish, modify and enforce child support orders

830 CMR 119A 
Child Support Enforcement (Department of Revenue)

Selected cases

Adoption of Marlene , 443 Mass. 494 (2005)
Supreme Judicial Court held: "We conclude that a parent's consent to adoption of his or her child under G.L. c. 210, § 2 , does not terminate the parental duty to support the child."

Okoli v. Okoli , 81 Mass. App. Ct. 371 (2012)
A husband was required to pay child support for twins who "were conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor sperm and donor eggs.." "even though he did not intend to be legally responsible for any child so created." He "was the legal father of the children because he consented to the artificial insemination of his wife."

Rosen v. Rosen , 90 Mass. App. Ct. 667 (2016)
Retroactive modification - equity. Lists the six elements that a child support payor must demonstrate in order to receive an "equitable credit against a child support arrearage."


Court forms

Application and Agreement for Child Support Enforcement Services. Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division.

Web sources

Big changes under 2017 Child Support Guidelines, Jason V. Owens
Explains what has changed from the 2013 to the 2017 Child Support Guidelines

Child support , Mass. Legal Help
Site is packed with information, including getting child support, paying child support, changing child support, the Dept. of Revenue, and much more

Child Support Enforcement, Dept. of Revenue

Child support: Family law advocacy for low and moderate income litigants, 3d ed, 2018, chapter 8  
Includes information on how to get child support, out of state orders, and modifications, as well as checklists and forms.

Court guides, Mass. Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement  
"Before you go to court, it might be helpful for you to review the information package for the court you are visiting. The court packages contain useful information such as what to bring, what not to bring, what to expect, where to go when you arrive, etc."

The custodial parent's duty to account to the noncustodial parent for how child support money is spent , Laura Wish Morgan. A lengthy discussion of the issue of whether or not to require accounting by the custodial parent. Includes many references to caselaw and secondary sources.

The Family Court Answer CenterFree Center for Mothers and for Fathers to Get Answers to their Questions
The Family Court Answer Center is offered once a month at the Court Service Center located on the 2nd Floor of the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, 24 New Chardon Street, Boston, MA

Information for employers, Dept. of Revenue Child Support Enforcement.
Comprehensive site for employers on child support.

Life After divorce in Massachusetts FAQs ,
Simple advice in question and answer format about a hypothetical situation

Nolo's Essential Guide to Child Custody and Support , Nolo, 2017
Not specific to Massachusetts. "This book will walk you through everything you need to know about child custody, shared parenting, and the rules about supporting your children." Also provides a list of what decisions need to be made and when. Requires library card for access

The Process of exchanging information in Probate and Family Court , Neighborhood Legal Services, 2000
Although quite old, this handbook does a good job of explaining what can be requested and how to do so, as well as providing warning of when an attorney's help is critical.

Print sources

Child support & custody update, MCLE, 2018

Massachusetts divorce law practice manual , MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapter 10.

Massachusetts domestic relations, LexisNexis, with supplement. Chapter 10.

Massachusetts practice v. 2 (Family law and practice) , 4th ed., Thomson Reuters, 2013 with supplement. Chapter 50


Last updated: August 30, 2018


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