Child Support in Massachusetts


OVERVIEW

All parents are responsible for the support of their child from the date of the child’s birth. This may seem obvious, but there are many people that believe they should not have to pay for their child’s care. The obligation to support your own child financially is rooted in both state and federal law. If child support was not enforced by state agencies like the Department of Revenue, there would be thousands of more people on state benefits and no repurcussions for “dead-beat” parents.


Generally, most child support orders end at the age of eighteen, unless otherwise agreed or ordered by the Court. Under Massachusetts law, M.G.L. ch. 208, s. 28, a child is defined as “a person under the age of eighteen, or a person between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one if dependent upon a parent for support, and a person between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-three if enrolled in an education program.” There is often a conflict between separated parents when a child is planning on attending a four-year university. Typically, if an order or Judgment does not indicate a date for termination of child support, then the child support will end when the child turns eighteen years old. If you are enrolled in Department of Revenue (DOR) services, this should happen automatically.

What is the Department of Revenue’s role in child support?


The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSE) of the DOR assists parents in establishing paternity, child support orders, health insurance orders, collecting child support, and asking courts to modify child support orders when circumstances change. They can file Complaints for Support on behalf of single parents, and can seek modification of support orders where circumstances have changed.

FACT:

Child support can continue to age 23 (or beyond if child
is disabled).
REPRESENTATIVE CASES (this firm has handled):


• Modification of child support based on client being laid off.
• Complaint for Paternity – unknown father has come forward and genetic marker testing required.
• Child support terminated – 18 year old lives independently in apartment.
• Mother finds out father is making double; Increase in child support order requested


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