"Dedicated to Child & Spousal Support Enforcement"

If We Don't Collect, You Don't Pay!

Follow Us

Facebook LinkedIn Google +

Massachusetts State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
There are 5 regional offices and 2 satellite offices. In addition, there is a customer service call center.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
Yes
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
M.G.L. c. 119A, 3
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
No.
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
N/A

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
M.G.L. c. 209D
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
One.

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
Austria, British Columbia, Germany, Manitoba, Norway, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Quebec, Sweden, United Kingdom.
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
No
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
N/A
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries? **
No
C4. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706 (b) (1).) **
No

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
18 years of age. (See also D3.)
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
M.G.L. c. 4, 7.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
D3. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
21 years of age.
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
No
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
In answer to D5 above, no, not automatically.
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
A court, in its discretion, may order support up to age: 1. 21 if a child is domiciled with a parent and principally dependent on that parent. 2. 23 if a child is domiciled with a parent and principally dependent on that parent due to the child's enrollment in an education program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree. M.G.L. c.208, 28; M.G.L. c.209c, 9. A court may also order support for an adult child who is mentally or physically disabled. (See Fienberg v. Diamant, 378 Mass. 131, 389 N.E.2d 998 (1979)).
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
No
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
We follow the terms of the court order and do not automatically reduce current support unless the order is a per child order.
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
We do not accept applications for services to establish paternity, child support, and/or medical support for children over the age of 18. If an application includes a request for services for a child under the age of 18 and a child over 18, we will provide services to establish paternity and support orders for both children. If a parent or caretaker obtains a support order for a child over the age of 18, we will accept an application to provide services to enforce the order.
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?
Interstate referrals are accepted using the same criteria outlined in D8 for our instate applicants.

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for collection of past-due support?
Appellate cases have determined that because child support orders are judgments by operation, the 20 year statute of limitations applicable to judgments applies. Lombardi v. Lombardi, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 407 (2007)
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
None.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
No
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Shared Income Model.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
Yes
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Effective July 1, 2010, the monthly interest rate is 0.5% (prior to July 1, 2010, the monthly interest rate was 1%). Interest is charged at the end of any month in which the obligor owes more than $500 in past-due support and has not paid the minimum monthly payment. M.G.L. c. 119A, 6(a), 830 CMR 119A.6.1. In certain circumstances, an obligor may be exempt from interest charges or might be eligible to apply for a waiver of interest that has already accrued.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
Yes
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Effective July 1, 2010, the monthly interest rate is 0.5% (prior to July 1, 2010, the monthly interest rate was 1%). Interest is charged at the end of any month in which the obligor owes more than $500 in past-due support and has not paid the minimum monthly payment. M.G.L. c. 119A, s. 6(a), 830 CMR 119A.6.1. In certain circumstances, an obligor may be exempt from interest charges or might be eligible to apply for a waiver of interest that has already accrued.
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
Yes
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest is charged at the end of any month in which the obligor owes more than $500 in past-due support and has not paid the minimum monthly payment. M.G.L. c. 119A, 6(a), 830 CMR 119A.6.1. In certain circumstances, an obligor may be exempt from interest charges or might be eligible to apply for a waiver of interest that has already accrued. M.G.L. c. 119A, (6)(a), 830 CMR 119A.6.1.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
Yes
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
Only if a court has ordered the parties to pay 50% of medical expenses, determines a sum certain that is owed, and reduces it to a judgment.
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
Yes
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
In some cases, the costs for genetic marker tests may be passed on to the parties.
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
In some cases, the costs for genetic marker tests may be passed on to the parties.
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
No
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
N/A
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
M.G.L. c. 209D, 2-201
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
DOR does not establish or modify orders for spousal support or alimony. We will, however, enforce and collect an alimony order as long as we are enforcing and collecting an accompanying current child support order.
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
No.
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
If the Massachusetts court requires information about a new spouse or partner in a specific case, DOR will ask the initiating state to provide it.
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
We pay the fee out of our own administrative funds based on the number of cases that never received IV-A assistance for the federal fiscal year.
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $500?
No.
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
No.
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
No.
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
Yes.
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
10/01/2009
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
Yes (up to $50 in all cases).
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
No.
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
N/A
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
Yes
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
Discontinue post-1997 pre-assistance assignments.
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
10/01/2009
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
PRWORA distribution rules.
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
If we receive notice that the child is receiving TANF with a new caretaker, we can redirect current support payments to the new caretaker (in effect to the TANF agency) without returning to court to establish a new child support order. We send a notice to the court, obligor, and the previous obligee any time we redirect payments.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
We will redirect any medical support to the new caretaker, but would also proceed in court to modify the existing order.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
The new caretaker must have or obtain a court order for custody or guardianship of the child for us to transfer the child support payments otherwise we will proceed to establish a new order if the new caretaker applies for IV-D services.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.3. How does your state collect the $25.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
We pay the fee out of our own administrative funds based on the number of cases that never received IV-A assistance for the federal fiscal year.
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases? **
Yes
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees). **
Costs could include the costs of paternity testing or any other costs ordered by the court.
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
Yes.
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)
Yes.

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
Federally excluded sources only, no sources excluded by state law.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
No
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
Up to $1.00 per deduction. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 12(f)(1).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
No later than the first pay period occurring three working days after the date of the notice.
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Within three working days of the pay date/date of withholding. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 12(f)(5).
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
DOR sends a series of employer compliance letters to employers who fail to withhold child support or fail to remit the payments. If an employer does not properly respond to the employer compliance letters, DOR attorneys have the option to take legal action against the employer. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 12(f)(3).
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
Massachusetts law provides that the employers who fail to withhold child support or withhold child support and fail to remit the payments to DOR, will be liable for the child support due and a penalty equal to the amount of child support due or $500, whichever is greater. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 12(f)(3).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
Send orders directly to: Division of Unemployment Assistance, 19 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, Attn: Child Support or faxed to Joshua Nussey at 617-727-0004. Please provide a contact name and phone number. The contact person at the Division of Unemployment Assistance is Joshua Nussey 617-626-6812. The Division of Unemployment Assistance will not withhold child support in an arrears-only case. States should contact DOR in such cases.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
The court order. States must provide the custodial parent's Social Security number on a separate document if it is not included on the order.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
none
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
Noncustodial parent requests an administrative review. DOR conducts a review of documentation submitted by the noncustodial parent and issues a final determination, which is subject to judicial review. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 12(e).
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
A withholding order issued by our state does not have any more weight than a withholding order issued by another state. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his/her income and not enough income to pay all orders in full, DOR advises the employer to pro rate the orders. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 12(f)(5).
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
Yes
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
No. Massachusetts follows the federal guidelines for disposable income as specified in the federal CCPA limits.
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
When an employee terminates employment, the employer must notify us of the termination prior to the time the next payment to the child support agency would have been due. M.G.L. c. 119A, 12 (f) (7)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
We send a new IWO when the employer reports via new hire.
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
No.
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
Yes.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
M.G.L. c. 119A, sec. 12 requires that all judgments and orders for support issued by a Massachusetts court, or received, entered or registered pursuant to M.G.L. c. 209D (UIFSA) include a provision for income withholding. An income withholding order can be sent directly to an obligor's employer, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) (if the obligor receives unemployment compensation benefits), an insurance company that is paying Workers' compensation or disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (if the obligor receives Social Security Disability Insurance) or any other source of periodic income as that term is defined in M.G.L. c. 119A, 1A. In Massachusetts, workers' compensation benefits are paid directly by insurers, not the Department of Industrial Accidents, and the income withholding orders must be sent directly to the insurer, not the DIA. With respect to financial institutions, an income withholding order would be appropriate only if the institution issues periodic payments, such as an annuity.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
Massachusetts' priority of withholding is as follows: 1) Deduct the amount required to pay the current monthly child support (not including any periodic payment toward arrears). 2) Deduct the amounts required to pay the current monthly family health insurance premiums and/or other current medical support. 3) Deduct any amount ordered for the payment of arrears. 4) Deduct any remaining ordered amount.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
Massachusetts first allocates to the current support and after that is satisfied for the month, any additional allocations are done pro rata based on the balances on our system.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
No

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
No
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
Custody and visitation are not routinely addressed in a child support proceeding and are never addressed by IV-D attorneys. As a practical matter, however, the court may include language in the child support order regarding custody and visitation.
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
97%.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
60 days from the date the acknowledgment is signed and properly filed.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
04/13/1994
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
Yes
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
No optional comments.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H5. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity?
Yes
H5.1. If yes, how is the presumption rebutted?
May be rebutted by testimony as to lack of access or genetic testing.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H6. If the father's name is on the birth certificate and paternity has not been established by any other means, does this mean conclusive determination of paternity?
No
H6.1. If no, briefly explain.
Prior to April 13, 1994, a father's name on the birth certificate was not a conclusive determination of paternity. After April 13, 1994, the father's name is placed on the birth certificate only if a court adjudicates paternity or the father signs a voluntary acknowledgement. Paternity is conclusively determined at the time of the court adjudication or the 60 day rescission period after the mother and father sign the acknowledgement has elapsed.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H7. What is the effective date of the state law that makes a father's name on the birth certificate a conclusive determination of paternity?
04/13/1994
H8. Does your state have any other paternity-related presumptions?
Yes
H8.1. If yes, briefly explain.
M.G.L. c. 209C, 6. Attempted to marry, agreed to support the child, jointly held out as own, acknowledged paternity in a parental responsibility claim.
H9. Does your state have a putative fathers' registry?
Yes
H9.1. If yes, what is the name of that entity?
Department of Children and Families.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H10. Are there any fees for requesting searches, paternity documents and data from your state's bureau of vital statistics?
Yes
H10.1. If yes, please describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived.
Fees are $20.00 per certified copy at their public counter and $32.00 by mail.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H11. Is common-law marriage recognized in your state?
No
H11.1. If yes, briefly describe the standard that defines common-law marriage.
N/A
H11.2. When did your current common-law standard go into effect?
H11.3. If there was a common-law standard in effect prior to your current standard, what was that standard and when did it go into effect?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H12. When the custodial party and/or other witnesses are not able to appear in person for paternity hearings, what methods of testimony are acceptable; for example, written, videotape, and teleconferencing?
Written testimony or paternity affidavit is acceptable in UIFSA cases. In addition, the court has discretion to allow other forms of testimony.
H13. Give the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute and list any special provisions.
M.G.L. chapter 23A, section 3 and M.G.L. Chapter 209D, 2-201
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H14. Does your state recover genetic testing costs for another state?
No
H14.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
H15. List any documents required to get the father's name on the birth certificate. For example, is an acknowledgment of paternity needed?
As of April 13, 1994, paternity must be established before a father's name may be placed on a birth certificate. Paternity may be established via either a voluntary acknowledgment or court order. If a voluntary acknowledgment is completed, the father's name will be placed on the birth certificate automatically. If paternity is established via court order, the order must also provide that the birth record be amended and the court must provide data required by the Registry of Vital Records to amend the record.
H16. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should one set of documents be sent to your state (with a paternity affidavit for each child) or should a separate packet be sent for each child?
One transmittal with a paternity affidavit and birth certificate for each child is required.

I. Support Order Establishment

I1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Judicial process.
I1.1. If your state can establish under both, under what circumstances would the administrative process be used?
N/A
I1.2. Under what circumstances would a judicial process would be used?
The judicial process would be used under all circumstances.
I1.3. If your state uses an administrative process, provide the statutory citations for your state's administrative procedures.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I2. In setting support under your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial (NCP's) (for example, new spouses or children)?
The custodial parent's income is also considered. In addition, the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines give the court the discretion to consider unearned income of the child(ren). Income of a party's new spouse (or other co-parent of a child not subject of the order) may be required if the party is seeking a deduction for supporting another child, or if a party is seeking a deviation based on a gross disparity between the standards of living of the two households. If the Massachusetts court requires the information in a specific case, DOR will ask the initiating state to provide it.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
In order to deviate from the guidelines, the court must find that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. Circumstances which may support deviation include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. the parties agree and the Court approves their agreement; 2. a child has special needs or aptitudes; 3. a child has extraordinary medical or other expenses; 4. application of the guidelines, particularly in low income cases, leaves a party without the ability to self support; 5. Payor is incarcerated, is likely to remain incarcerated for an additional 3 years and has insufficient financial resources to pay support; 6. application of the guidelines would result in a gross disparity in the standard of living between the two households such that one household is left with an unreasonably low percentage of the combined available income; 7. a parent has extraordinary medical expenses; 8. a parent has extraordinary travel or other expenses related to parenting; 9. application of the guidelines may adversely impact re-unification of a parent and a child where the child has been temporarily removed from the household based upon allegations of neglect; or 10. absent deviation, application of the guidelines would lead to an order that is unjust, inappropriate or not in the best interests of the child, considering the Principles of the guidelines.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods?
Yes
I4.1. If yes, for what prior periods (for example, birth of the child, date of separation, prenatal expenses, 5 years retroactive)?
Depends upon the circumstances of the case, may go as far back as prenatal period.
I4.2. What information or documentation does your State require to proceed?
The petition of a party and information/ documentation showing that the parent is chargeable with the support of the child, including information regarding the parent's ability to pay during that time period.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I4.3. Will your state allow a petition for support when the only issue is retroactive support?
No
I4.4. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
N/A
I5. What actions can your state perform using the administrative process? For example, does your state use an administrative process for paternity, establishment, modification, and the enforcement of child support?
MA is a judicial state and the judicial process is used to establish child support obligations and to modify those obligations. Paternity can be established "administratively" via the voluntary acknowledgment of parentage process. Additionally, paternity testing can be ordered via an administrative process.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I6. What is your state's statutory authority for the administrative process?
Voluntary acknowledgment process is M.G.L. c. 209C, 11 http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/209c-11.htm Administrative GMT process is M.G.L. c. 119A, 3A http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/119a-3a.htm
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I7. Is there a local state law that allows an interstate administrative subpoena?
No.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I8. Does your state require that a custodial party receiving public assistance, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child?
Generally no, but some individual courts require.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I9. Does your state require that a custodial party who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child when public assistance is not being expended?
Generally, in Massachusetts legal custody is not a prerequisite to entering a support order.
I10. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
We require verification of legal custody or guardianship before we will provide IV-D services to transfer payments, unless the new custodian receives public assistance for the child.
I11. When your state has issued an order that reserves support and now child support should now be ordered, should the other state request an establishment or a modification?
The answer may vary on a case-by-case basis but as a general rule the other state should request a modification.
I12. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before a support order is modified or established?
Yes. If the parent that gained custody applies for services, we will assist the new custodial parent in terminating the old order and modifying (or establishing) an order to have the new noncustodial parent pay child support. If the court has not already made a custody order, it will likely address the custody and child support issues together.
I13. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before support can be redirected to the new payee?
Yes. If the parent that gained custody applies for services, we will assist the new custodial parent in terminating the old order and modifying (or establishing) an order to have the new noncustodial parent pay child support. If the court has not already made a custody order, it will likely address the custody and child support issues together.
I14. What methods of personal service does your state use? **
Service is made under Massachusetts Domestic Relations Procedure Rule 4, where an authorized process server may serve the defendant by: 1) personally delivering a copy of the summons and complaint; or 2) leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the defendant's last and usual place of abode and by mailing copies to the defendant. If personal service is not possible, service can be made by publication and mailing a copy by registered or certified mail to the defendant's last known address.
I15. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? **
No
I15.1 If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically. **
I16. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? **
Separate and apart from the amount of child support directed under the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, a court can also order medical support, education expenses, and attorneys' fees. Under the Guidelines, the court may also deviate from the presumptive amount because of a child's extraordinary expenses or a parent's extraordinary medical, health insurance or other parenting expenses, or any other reason where the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.
I17. Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. **
M.G.L., c. 119A, sec. 1A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I18. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents in order to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? **
Yes
I18.1 If yes, indicate the appropriate responses. **
There is no standard mediation process for IV-D cases. Child support orders are entered by the court; however, parents are free to agree to an amount and to submit a written agreement to the court for approval.

J. Support Enforcement

J1. Indicate whether your state has the following enforcement remedies available. Also indicate what procedures are available (i.e., judicial, administrative, or both).
J1.1. Are your state income tax refund procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative procedures available.
J2. Is the lien process in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative procedures available.
J2.1. What are the trigger criteria for filing a lien?
Property subject to lien 30 days after DOR sends notice of child support debt. Where agency determines collection of debt will be jeopardized by delay, lien may be filed without regard to 30-day period. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 6(b).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J2.2. Where are your state liens filed?
RE- Registry of Deeds where the obligor resides or owns property. PP-Secretary of State, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, a municipality or other office/agency responsible for filing liens.
J2.3. Does your state charge a fee for filing a lien?
No
J2.4. If yes, please indicate the amount.
N/A
J.3. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale?
Yes
J3.1. Are the property seizure and sale procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative and judicial procedures available.
J4. Are the MSFIDM freeze and seize procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative procedures available.
J4.1. When must an NCP receive notice that a MSFIDM freeze and seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the state to collect delinquent child support?
Notice sent annually.
J4.2. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
No.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J4.3. Does your state require a new notice to be sent when intent to freeze and seize is sent?
Yes
J4.3.1 If yes, who notifies the NCP, the state or the financial institution?
The State.
J5. What are the time frames if a new notice of intent to freeze and seize must be sent?
Massachusetts law requires DOR to send timely written notice to the obligor of any action taken to perfect a lien, execute a levy or seize any property. See M.G.L. c. 119a 6(b)(10).
J5.1. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for freeze and seize action in your state?
DOR does not issue bank levies unless the obligor has received notice of the child support debt within the last 12 months, there is a valid court order and either of the following financial criteria is met: arrears, interest and penalty, less amounts on hold, are $1,500 or more or the obligor has failed to make any "non-enforcement" payments in the prior 6 weeks. (A "non-enforcement" payment is a payment made without the use of administrative enforcement action.)
J5.2. What is the minimum delinquent dollar amount that makes an obligor eligible for asset seizure?
There is no minimum dollar amount, as obligors are eligible for bank levy if arrears, interest and penalties equal $1,500 or more or if there have been no payments (other than those collected as a result of enforcement actions) in the past 6 weeks.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.3. Is there a specified amount of time of delinquency required prior to proceeding with freeze and seize?
DOR can proceed with bank levy as long as 30 days have passed since the initial notice of the child support debt was sent to the obligor. Where agency determines collection of debt will be jeopardized by delay, bank levy can proceed without regard to 30-day period.
J5.3.1. If yes, please provide the time frame.
See J5.1
J5.4. Are only a certain percentage of the obligor's financial assets eligible for freeze and seize?
No
J5.4.1. If yes, provide the percentage.
N/A
J5.4.2. Is the percentage different for joint accounts?
No
J5.4.3. If yes, describe.
N/A
J5.5. Does your state require a minimum amount of money in a financial account for the funds to be eligible for freeze and seize action? If so, provide the amount.
No, but financial institutions are instructed not to send a payment if the amount to be levied, minus the bank's processing fee, is less than $25.
J5.6. Who is responsible for applying the minimum amount, your state or the financial institution?
Financial Institution.
J5.7. How long does the obligor or other account holders have to contact your state child support enforcement agency or court to challenge the Freeze and Seize action?
Obligor and/or account holders must contact agency within 15 days of date notice was sent to obligor to challenge the levy.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.8. If state law or policy allows for a second contest to a freeze and seize action, how long does the obligor or joint account holder have to contact your child support agency or court to challenge the freeze and seize action?
If an obligor or joint account holder disagrees with the agency's decision regarding the challenge to the bank levy, the obligor or joint account holder can file a complaint for judicial review within 45 days of the date of the agency's decision. See M.G.L. c. 119a. 6(c).
J5.9. On what basis can an obligor and/or other account holder challenge a Freeze and Seize action?
Obligor or other account holder can challenge the bank levy on the grounds that the funds in the account are not subject to levy because they were deposited from a needs-based benefits program, funds do not belong to the obligor and the obligor derives no personal benefit from the funds, or the amount levied is more than the amount owed; that no arrears are owed; that the account holder is not the child support obligor; or because the levy will cause severe financial hardship.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.10. Is your state's complaint review process judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative.
J5.11. What are your state's penalties for incorrect seizures?
None.
J5.12. Is the second challenge administrative, judicial, or both?
Judicial - obligor can file a complaint for judicial review.
J5.13. What is your state's appeal time frame, unique appeal requirements and recourse for non-debtor accounts?
15 days from date of notice. No unique requirements. Non-Debtor has same appeal rights as obligor.
J5.14. Is the freeze and seize operation in your state centralized or automated?
Centralized and Automated.
J5.15. Are there additional freeze and seize requirements or limitations not otherwise noted in this profile?
None.
J5.16. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc)?
Yes
J5.16.1 If yes, provide the state authority and the procedures financial institutions should follow to liquidate non-liquid assets.
If the property to be levied is a security, or shares of a mutual fund other than a money market mutual fund, the obligor may sell or repurchase such securities or shares in the ordinary or usual course of investing, but may not receive funds resulting from such sale for a period up to 45 days. At the end of the 45 days, if the agency has not rescinded the levy, extended the time period, or otherwise notified the financial institution not to remit the funds, the financial institution must liquidate sufficient securities or shares to satisfy the full amount of the lien and remit the liquidated funds to DOR. M.G.L. c. 119A, 6(b)(6)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.17. Does your state law or policies instruct the financial institution or state to hold the frozen assets during the challenge or appeal time frame or freeze period?
The financial institution is instructed to hold the levied funds for a period of 21 days. Upon receipt of levied funds from the financial institution, the agency holds the funds for an additional 21 days.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.18. How long does the financial institution have to send the obligor's assets to your child support enforcement agency?
The financial institution is required to remit the obligor's assets at the end of the 21-day hold period.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J6. Does your state withhold state funds or benefits?
Yes
J6.1. If yes, is the method of withholding state benefits judicial, administrative or both?
Worker's compensation, unemployment compensation - administrative procedures available.
J7. Describe any other administrative enforcement procedures your state may have.
Insurance liens- administrative procedures available.
J8. Describe any other judicial enforcement procedures your state may have.
Contempt- judicial procedures available.
J9. If your State has established specific procedures for registering administrative liens, what are the procedures that another State must follow?
DOR has not established specific procedures for registering administrative liens. When another state wants to register an administrative lien, it must send a UIFSA request for enforcement to DOR. Any lien DOR has, whether it is an in-state or out-of-state debt, would cover any and all arrearages we are enforcing.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J10. Which of your state's enforcement remedies are available without judicial actions?
Depending upon the facts of the case, DOR will use any or all administrative remedies without registration.
J11. Describe your state's procedures for registering and enforcing another state's order.
DOR registers an order for enforcement if the noncustodial parent requests administrative review to contest administrative enforcement and is unsatisfied with DOR's final determination, or if DOR determines it is appropriate to pursue contempt or other judicial enforcement.
J12. Describe additional judicial procedures required after registration, if any, to enforce a support order.
No procedures are required.
J13. Has your state adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA)?
No
J13.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J14. What are your state's criteria for reporting an obligor's child support information to credit bureaus?
An annual notice was sent to the obligor, there is a valid court order, the case is current support or arrears only, arrears plus interest in all eligible cases is $1,500 or more.
J15. To which credit bureaus does your state report an obligor's child support information?
Experian and Innovis.
J16. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative.
J17. These questions describe state procedures for Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI). Refer to OCSE-AT-08-06 for additional information about AEI.
J18. What data matches with financial institutions and other entities (and the seizure of such assets) are available through AEI in your state? Examples may include liens and levies, MSFIDM, FIDM, state benefits (lump sum), state lottery, state income tax, etc.
We do not currently have the capability of creating an AEI case on our system but are building in the process on our new system. We can accommodate requests to seize identified assets.
J19. What documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
A Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3 with specific information about the asset.
J20. What mandatory data elements does your state need to process AEI requests?
Custodial Parent, Noncustodial Parent and Dependent Name and DOB. Noncustodial parent SSN, requesting state case ID, certified amount of arrears, monthly obligation, date of last payment, and requesting state FIPS code.
For Additional Information - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2008/at-08-06.htm
J21. Which additional data elements would aid your state in processing AEI requests?
None.
J22. How many copies/sets of documents does your state require with an AEI request?
One.
J23. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for any AEI matches available in the state, aside from liens/levies and MSFIDM?
A notice notifying the obligor of the amount of the debt and providing him/her an opportunity to challenge was sent, there is a valid court order, the case is current support or arrears only, arrears plus interest in all eligible cases is $1,500 or more.
J24. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept freeze and seize actions directly from other states?
Yes
J24.1. If no, then describe the process for a freeze and seize action from another child support agency (for example, Transmittal #1 or Transmittal #3), and list the additional documentation required.
N/A
J25. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
Submit a Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3.
J26. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified payment record?
Submit a Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3.
J27. Is there a cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order or payment record?
No.
J28. What are your state's policies and practices for driver's license revocation for nonpayment of support and reinstatement, especially for low income parents or a hardship exemption?
J29. What triggers a driver's license revocation?
Driver's license suspension is triggered automatically if the total arrears principal and interest for all of an obligor's eligible cases, after crediting amounts on pre-distribution hold, is $50 or more and there have been no payments for the prior 8 weeks. In certain circumstances, the driver's license suspension process can be manually initiated prior to 8 weeks of non-payment.
J29.1 Is there a threshold arrears amount that serves as the basis to revoke or suspend a driver's license?
Yes.
J29.2 If yes, what is the amount?
$50 in arrears principal and interest, after crediting amounts on pre-distribution hold, and there have been no payments for the prior 8 weeks.
J30. Under what conditions may a noncustodial party restore the driver's license?
A driver's license may be reinstated after suspension if the obligor pays the total balance (arrears, interest and penalty) owed in all cases. For first license suspension actions only, a driver's license may be reinstated if a) the obligor has already paid the total amount due for the prior 8 weeks (including any arrears obligation) or pays the difference between the total amount due and the amount actually paid for the prior 8 weeks; or b) the obligor needs the driver's license to commute to a job to which an income withholding order was issued; or c) the obligor requires a driver's license to access medical care for self or a dependent child. A license payment agreement must be signed if the obligor pays less than the total amount of arrears owed.
J30.1 What is the process for restoring a driver's license?
The obligor must meet the payment conditions or otherwise demonstrate a need that warrants reinstatement (license needed to commute to job or to access medical care for self or dependent child). The obligor must sign a license payment agreement, unless obligor is paying total arrears owed. Upon satisfaction of terms for reinstatement, DOR notifies the Registry of Motor Vehicles that obligor's driver's license should no longer be suspended for failure to pay child support. The license is not reinstated until the applicable registry fees are paid.
J31. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses?
No
J31.1 If yes, what are the conditions?
N/A
J32. Describe any innovations or special practices your state uses regarding driver's license revocation and reinstatement.
J33. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
Yes.
J33.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for administrative offset?
Yes.
J33.2 What is the dollar amount?
$150 (arrears + interest, less amounts on pre-distribution hold) for public assistance cases. $500 (arrears + interest, less amounts on pre-distribution hold) for non-public assistance cases.
J35. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J35.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes.
J36. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
No.
J36.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for federal administrative offset?
N/A
J36.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J38. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
No
J38.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
N/A
J38.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J39. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for passport denial?
No.
J40. Does your state give the NCP credit for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits received directly by the CP?
Yes. Under Massachusetts law, a court may give a noncustodial parent a credit against a child support order calculated under the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, if the custodial parent receives dependent benefits for the child based on the noncustodial parent's RSDI income. The noncustodial parent must seek and obtain a modification of the child support order in the appropriate court to receive credit. The credit cannot be provided administratively.

K. Modification and Review/Adjustment

K1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year, every three years)?
Every three years in TANF cases or upon request in TANF and non-TANF cases.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K2. Briefly describe your state's modification procedure.
Modification is a judicial process. Modification is pursued if an adjustment is warranted based upon application of the Child Support Guidelines or the need for health care coverage, or if a complaint to modify is filed with the court.
K3. What are your criteria for modification (for example, $50 or 20% from present order)?
All modifications require a court order, and the court does not use a percentage threshold or dollar amount to determine eligibility. While screening cases every three years to determine whether to request modification from the court, we require a 15% deviation from the current child support order. If one of the parties comes to us with a request for modification, the change in the order must be more than $5 per week. Parties who do not meet our criteria for asking the court for a modification are directed to file a request directly with the court.
K4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?
K4.1. The earnings of the obligor have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.2. The earnings of the obligee have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.4. The cost of living as measured by the Federal Bureau of Vital Statistics has changed.
Yes
K4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Yes
K4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
Yes
K4.7. What other criteria does your state use for demonstrating a change in circumstances for modifying an order?
Massachusetts General Laws provide that child support orders shall be modified if there is an inconsistency between the amount of the existing child support order and the amount that would result from application of the child support guidelines. M.G.L. c. 208, 28, M.G.L. c. 209C, 20, M.G.L. c. 209, 37. A change in circumstances, therefore is not required for an order to be modified. Only information that is relevant to calculating an order based on the child support guidelines would be considered. The criteria in K4.1 - K4.6 could all affect the guidelines amount and therefore would potentially result in a modification of the child support order.
K5. Does your state have cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for orders?
No
K5.1. If yes, what index does your state use?
Statute allows for it, but that provision is not used by IV-D at this time.
K6. How does your state credit SSA disability to current and past-due support?
When a current support order is in place, MA law requires a noncustodial parent to seek a modification to receive credit for Social Security dependent benefits.
K7. Does your state abate support? For example, when the child is not living with the CP for more than 30 days and there has not been a change in custody or when the NCP is in prison, etc.
No
K7.1. If yes, explain the circumstances?
N/A
K7.2. What is the statutory citation for your abatement law?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.3. What documents does your state require for each type of referral other than UIFSA referrals? For example, pay records and certifications for TANF, etc.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.4. What information does your state need to obtain copies of paternity acknowledgements/affidavits and birth records, including where to make requests and the cost of processing the requests.
Requests may be made by mail to, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st floor, Dorchester, MA 02125-3105. The cost of a record requested by mail is $28.00 each. Records may also be requested by e-mail at uscerts.com for a cost of $42.50 each. Records are also available by fax or telephone with a major credit card. For more detailed information about requests and fees, please see: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/health-stats/vitals/obtaining-certified-copies-of-vital-records.html
K8. What information does your state require to register an out-of-state order for enforcement/modification?
Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #1 - Initial Request Registration Statement General Testimony Child Support Order or Divorce Decree - certified copy Prior support orders (only if arrears are impacted) Affidavit of Arrears
K9. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is no established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support?
Massachusetts law provides that 125% of the last current support order may be collected until all arrears are paid. An income withholding order remains in effect until such time as there is no longer a child support order and all arrears are paid in full. G.L. c. 119A, 12(c). All judgments and orders for support entered in the Commonwealth must include a provision for income withholding payable to the IV-D agency on behalf of the obligee. G.L. c. 119A, 12. If arrears accrue under an order or prior to entry of an order, the amount of income withholding must be increased by twenty-five percent until such arrearage is paid off; the IV-D agency is authorized to implement the twenty-five percent increase administratively, without the need for any further judicial hearing or court order. G.L. c. 119A, 12 (b)(6).
K9.1. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is an established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support, current support plus arrears, or the arrears payment amount only?
The IWO would be in the amount of the last current support order plus the court-ordered arrears payment (or 125% of the last current support order if there was no court-ordered arrears amount).
K10. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration? **
The obligation to pay child support ends in accordance with the terms of the court order. If either parent wants child support to end at a different date, he or she must return to court. A court may terminate the obligation to pay current support for reasons such as parents reconciling or if the obligor obtains custody.

L. Payments

L1. Does your state define a lump sum payment?
Yes
L1.1 If yes, give your state's definition. (Be specific, for example, severance pay, incentives, relocation lump sum payments, etc.).
Lump sums are included in the definition of income which is defined as "any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, unemployment and workers' compensation, disability payments, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement plan, military pay, other payments made in lieu of periodic payments including severance pay and salary advance, and interest." Lump sums are subject to lien for unpaid support. By operation of law, a lien exists for unpaid support on all tangible and intangible property, whether real or personal, and any interest in property, whether legal or equitable, belonging to the obligor.
L1.2 Provide the statutory citation.
M.G.L. c. 119A, 1A and 6; M.G.L. c. 151A, 1 http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/119a-1a.htm http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/119a-6.htm http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/151a-1.htm
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
L2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments?
Yes
L2.1 If yes, give the statutory citation or rule.
http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleIX/Chapter62E/Section2
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L3. Are employers required to report lump sum payments for all income-withholding orders (including cases with no arrears)?
Yes
L3.1 If yes, what is the threshold amount at which a lump sum payment must be reported?
There is no threshold amount.
L4. How are employers instructed to report a pending lump sum?
Contact our Employer Services Unit: Call 1-800-332-2733 (option 2) Fax 1-617-887-7560 Email cseemp@dor.state.ma.us
L5. What is the timeframe within which the child support enforcement agency must respond to the employer with instructions for attaching the lump sum?
No time frame.
L6. Does your state use the income-withholding order to attach the lump sum payment?
Yes
L7. Does your state use the lien/levy process to attach lump sum payments?
Yes
L7.1. If yes, what is the name of the document your state uses to attach non-wage lump sum payments?
One-Time Order/Notice - Lump Sum Payment
L8. What other documents does your state use to attach lump sum payments?
Instructions and information is provided in letters to the employer.
L9. If the lump sum payment is considered earnings as defined by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), does your state have higher limits on withholding than the CCPA limit?
No.
L9.1. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
L9.2. If the lump sum is not considered to be earnings as defined by the CCPA, does your state limit the withholding/attachment?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L9.3. If yes, what are those limits?
L9.4. If no, what percentage is the employer required to withhold?
L10. If an employer pays the lump sum in addition to regular wages in a single payment, would the CCPA limits apply?
Yes
L10.1 If yes, would the employer only withhold for that period's obligation?
Administered by CSE staff.
L11. Does your state have a direct deposit program?
Yes
L11.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Administered by CSE staff.
L12. Does your state have a debit card program?
Yes
L12.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Bank of America
L13. Is the debit card used for any other state government programs (TANF, SNAP, etc.)?
No.
L13.1 If so, are there fees involved?
L14. What are the fees associated with using the card?
There are no fees to customers who use this card at approved networks or at retail outlets.
L15. How does your state collect child support payments from an obligor? **
Payments are made to a central location (the SDU) by check, money order, credit card, debit card, and ACH through a United States bank. The SDU accepts child support agency international ACH payments initiated by a non-US bank through a US gateway bank.
L16. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and treaty countries when your state is the responding state in a case? **
Disbursements to foreign agencies are made by check. Payments to individuals are by check or debit card. Direct deposit is available for customers who have a US bank account.
L17. What actions does your state take to reduce the costs and fees associated with international payment processing? **
Our SDU has completed programming to accept international ACH payments. We also provide a debit card upon request to a CP residing in a foreign country if he or she does not have a US bank account.
L18. Does your state process electronic payments in international cases? **
Yes
L18.1 If so, describe the process. **
See L15 and L17
L19. What is your state's International Bank Account Number (IBAN)? **
N/A

M. Insurance Match

M1. Note: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits may apply to any insurance payments issued as an income loss replacement.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M1.1. Additional information on the CCPA.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2. Does your state have legislation that requires insurance companies doing business in your state to provide, exchange, or look up information with or for your state IV-D agency to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support?
Yes
M2.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation
M.G.L. c. 175, 24D and 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2.1.2. What information is an insurer required to provide, exchange, or look up with your state's IV-D agency?
An insurer must compare the claimant's Social Security number to child support lien information made available by DOR. If the claimant does not have a Social Security number, the insurer must provide the claimant's name, address and date of birth to DOR. DOR will compare that information against child support lien information.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2.2. How long before making a payment to a claimant must an insurer provide information to the agency?
M2.3. What criteria must an obligor meet to be eligible for your state's insurance match, exchange, look up, or intercept program? For example, is the law limited to specific claimants (such as policyholder, beneficiary or joint policyholder), types of claims (such as life, property/casualty, or workers' compensation), or specific policies (such as annuities, short term/long term disability)?
M2.4. Must the obligor meet a monetary threshold (dollar amount or percentage of payment) to be eligible for your state's insurance match program?
The obligor must owe past-due support of $1,000 or more to be eligible for DOR's insurance payment intercept program.
M2.5. What does the law require an insurer to do to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support (for example, log into a secure web application and enter identifying information about the claimant)?
Insurers must use one of the following methods to determine whether the insurance claim payment is subject to a lien for past-due child support: Instant Match Method: Under this method, the insurer logs into DOR's secure Payment Intercept Program web site and enters the claimant's Social Security number. If there is a lien on the claimant's insurance payment, a Notice of Child Support Lien and Levy is generated and can be printed from the insurer's own computer. Ten Business Day Wait Method: Insurers that are unable to access DOR's Payment Intercept Program web site may use the Ten Business Day Wait Method to search for child support lien information. Using this method, the insurer must forward to DOR the claimant's name and Social Security number, or, if the claimant does not have a Social Security number, the insurer must forward the claimant's name, address and date of birth. DOR compares the identifying information to child support lien information. If there is a lien, DOR will forward a Notice of Child Support Lien and Levy to the company within ten business days. If the company has not received a Notice by the expiration of ten days, the company can issue payment in accordance with its usual practice.
M2.6. Does your state law provide an alternative method or measure that an insurer may use to determine whether the claimant owes past-due child support (for example, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match Program satisfies the requirement)?
M2.7. Does your state law establish a penalty for an insurer that fails to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past-due child support? If so, provide the statutory citation.
An insurer that knowingly fails to ascertain whether payments are subject to a child support lien, as determined by DOR through an audit, shall be subject to a penalty assessed by DOR as set forth in 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1 (9)(a). An insurer that distributes funds that are subject to a child support lien directly to a claimant or distributes funds that are subject to a child support lien to a claimant's attorney without notifying the attorney of the existence of the child support lien shall be subject to penalties in accordance with M.G.L. c. 119A, 6. 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1 (9)(b). The penalties imposed under 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1 (9)(a) are separate and distinct from any penalties under 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1 (9)(b).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2.8. Does your state law protect an insurer from liability for acting in accordance with the insurance match law?
An insurance company that makes a payment in accordance with the insurance intercept law, and the insured individual on whose behalf the company makes a payment, is immune from any obligation or liability to the claimant arising from the payment. M.G.L. c. 175, 24D (d). If a claimant refuses to provide identifying information and the insurance company therefore cannot compare the claimant's information with child support lien information, the claimant shall not receive payment on the claim and the insurance company is exempt from suit and immune from liability for declining payment on the basis of the claimant's refusal. M.G.L. c. 175, 24D (f); 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1 (4).
M3. If there is no law, are insurers required to respond to subpoenas or requests for information and liens/levies or IWOs?
N/A
M3.1. Provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M4. What forms does your state use to intercept insurance payments, settlements, or awards (such as IWO, Notice of Lien/Levy)?
Notice of Insurance Claim Payment Levy/Intercept; Memorandum Regarding Insurance Payment Intercept - Notice to Claimant; Memorandum Regarding Insurance Payment Intercept - Notice to Attorney
M5. Who is required notify the NCP of the insurance intercept activity: the child support enforcement agency, the insurance agency, or both?
The insurance company must notify the claimant or the claimant's attorney about the insurance intercept activity.
M5.1. Provide your statutory citation for notifying an NCP of insurance intercept.
M.G.L. c. 175, 24D; 830 CMR 175.24D.1.1 (7).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M5.2. Once notified, is there an appeal period for the obligor and what is its length? Give the statutory citation.
Funds intercepted from an insurance claim settlement are placed on hold for 45 days from the date DOR receives the payment. During the hold period, the noncustodial parent may file a request for an administrative review of the intercept pursuant to M.G.L. c. 119A, 17. If the noncustodial parent is dissatisfied with DOR's decision, he or she can seek judicial review in the court that entered the child support order.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M6. Are there attorney fees associated with the insurance intercept activity?
No.
M7. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your state workers' compensation agency?
Under Massachusetts state law, only DOR can perfect a lien against a workers' compensation lump sum settlement or award for a past-due child support obligation M.G.L. c. 152 sec. 46A. States should contact DOR to request assistance with filing of a lien with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA)
M7.1. What is the process, the points of contact, and what forms?
See answer to M7.

N. Case Closure

N1. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to let the responding state know its intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15)
Yes
N2. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that its case is closed based on one of the following reasons: (MSC P GSC16) (a)Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (b)The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case?
Yes
N3. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders or notices and close the intergovernmental case? MSC P GSC17)
No
N4. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that per its request the case is closed and your state has stopped its income withholding order? (MSC P GSC18)
No