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Children huddled together in a circle.

Divorce or legal separation can put both emotional and financial strain on a family. When the parents of a child no longer live together, child support must be paid by one of the parents to ensure a child’s financial needs are met to facilitate growth, security, and mental development.

The parent with whom the child lives most of the time is called the custodial parent and the other parent is non-custodial. Often, it is the non-custodial parent who pays child support to the custodial parent. The process is straightforward whether you’re the parent who pays child support or the parent who receives child support.

Parents who pay support can make payments or modify changes to their court order online. Additionally, parents who receive support can set up payment information and learn more about enforcement programs.

Child Support Enforcement

The Department of Revenue (DOR) offers a number of child support enforcement services, from collecting and distributing payments to working with interstate child support cases. The application for child support can be submitted online and any questions about the process can be directed to the DOR child support division.

Custodial parents already receiving support can review DOR’s Child Support FAQs as well as find more information about receiving payments.

If a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent can file a complaint at the Probate and Family Court where the child support order was originally made.

Child Support Payment

Parents can make a child support payment

Getting to know the billing cycle for child support will help ensure a smooth payment process.

If the parent that pays child support is employed, DOR may collect child support from their employer, who will deduct payment directly from their paychecks. Employers can find more information about this process by visiting the DOR Child Support Employers Making Payments page.

Parents can also use the child support case manager online tool to check payment information, update or provide new contact and/or job information, and access child support payment history.

Additional Resources

Check out DOR’s site for more child support resources such as:

Children count on their parents and guardians for the support they need to thrive. The child support program helps to encourage parent involvement and fosters the growth, security, and development of children.

If you have any questions about child support in the Commonwealth, comment below or tweet us, @MassGov

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