Child & Spousal Support Enforcement - It's All We Do!

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

Follow Us

Facebook LinkedIn Google +

Massachusetts State Law

1. General Program-At-A-Glance

1. How many local child support 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.
2. What is the name of your IV-D agency?
Massachusetts Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division
3. Is your state administrative, judicial, or a combination of both? In particular, does your state primarily use judicial or administrative procedures to establish and/or enforce support orders? Please describe.
MA uses a judicial process to establish and modify support orders and primarily administrative remedies to enforce support orders in addition to judicial. DOR has processes where agreements of the parties may be submitted for court approval without the need for parties to appear for a formal hearing.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Does your state use the following applications: EDE, CSENET, QUICK?
yes

2. Duration Of Support

1. What is the duration of support in your state? Include the age of majority when the support obligation ends in the absence of other factors. Include your state's statutory citation(s).
A court, in its discretion, may order support up to 1. age 21 if a child is domiciled with a parent and principally dependent on that parent. 2. age 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. 18 years of age is the age of majority in MA (M.G.L. c. 4, 7) but is not the emancipation date for child support purposes. See Tatar v. Schuker, 70 Mass. App. Ct. 436 (2007)
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. 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
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied to the duration of support? If yes, describe.
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Does your state law allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under certain circumstances (for example, if the child has a disability or is in college)? If yes, describe.
Yes. See No. 1 above. A court may also order support for an incapacitated adult child under a guardianship. See Viada v. Viada, 86 Mass. App. Ct. 601 (2014); Fienberg v. Diamant, 378 Mass. 131 (1979).
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. What are your state's laws regarding the emancipation of the child that would result in early termination of the child support obligation? Describe.
Generally, a child under 21 is emancipated if: the child is married; the child is in the military; the child is 18 years old and self-supporting and permanently no longer in the care of their parents. Modification by the court is required for early termination of support.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
6. Does child support end if the child no longer lives with the custodial parent but does not emancipate according to state law? For example, the child graduates from high school at 17 and no longer lives with the custodial parent?
No. There is no automatic termination. The order continues until modified by the court.
7. For orders that include multiple children, does your state automatically reduce the current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in the order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates? If yes, describe.
No. DOR enforces the terms of the court order and does not automatically reduce current support for orders that include multiple children.
8. Does your state provide IV-D services to establish support for a child who is no longer a minor but for whom state law provides post-majority support (for example, if the child has a disability or is in college)? If yes, please describe the specific circumstances.
DOR does not accept applications for services to establish parentage, child support, and/or health care coverage for children over the age of 18 unless the application includes a younger sibling. If a parent or caretaker obtains a support order for a child over the age of 18, they can submit an application for DOR to enforce the order.

3. Statute Of Limitations

1. What is your state's statute of limitations for the collection of past-due support?
As child support orders are judgments by operation of law, the 20-year statute of limitations applicable to judgments applies to child support. Lombardi v. Lombardi, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 407 (2007)
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. What is your state's statute of limitations for the establishment of paternity/parentage? Please explain.
None
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible? If yes, under what circumstances and for how long?
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

4. Support Details

1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Income Shares Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Shared Income Model.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. Does your state have any statute(s) addressing interest on arrears? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged, any related conditions, and the statutory citation.
Yes. The Massachusetts Legislature granted DOR the authority to promulgate regulation to assess interest and penalties. M.G.L. c. 119A, s. 6(a) In 1998, DOR promulgated 830 CMR 119A 6.1 which sets the criteria for DOR's assessment of interest and penalties. See No. 3 below.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. Does your state's IV-D agency calculate interest on arrears? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Yes. As of July 1, 2010, the monthly interest rate is 0.5% and the monthly penalty rate is 0.5% (prior to July 1, 2010, the monthly interest and penalty rate was 1%). DOR assesses interest at the end of any month in which the parent owes more than $500 in past-due support and has not paid the minimum monthly payment. 830 CMR 119A.6.1. The regulation provides for a number of exemptions that allow the parent to avoid the assessment of interest and penalty.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Yes, retroactive support is subject to the assessment of interest and penalty as set out in No. 3.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for any uninsured portion? If yes, under what circumstances?
Yes, if a court determines a sum certain that is owed and reduces it to a judgment.
6. If your state has issued an order, and another IV-D agency asserts that the person/entity entitled to receive child support payments has changed from the person/entity designated in your state's order (due to a change in placement or foster care status), what does your state require in order to change the person/entity entitled to receive payments?
If DOR receives a responding UIFSA case seeking to transfer payment of an existing Massachusetts order to a new caretaker, DOR will request a petition to establish or modify a support order. Upon receipt of the petition, staff will review the case and determine if transfer of payment is appropriate pending a new order. DOR also requires 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.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
6.1. Does it matter if the child receives TANF or Medicaid-only? If so, explain.
Yes. If there is a Massachusetts support order and 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) while the case is being assessed to return to court to modify or establish a new child support order. We send a notice to the court, obligor, and the previous obligee any time we redirect payments. If the child receives Medicaid only, 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
7. 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?
Yes, the new caretaker must have or obtain a court order for custody or guardianship of the child for DOR to transfer the child support payments.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
8. Does your state IV-D agency give the noncustodial parent credit toward child support for Auxiliary Benefits received directly by the custodial parent on behalf of a child as a result of the noncustodial parent's Social Security Retirement, Survivors, or Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefit?
No. When a current support order is already in place, MA law requires a parent to seek a modification to receive credit for Social Security dependent benefits.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
9. Does your state abate support? If yes, explain the circumstances and provide your statutory citation.
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

5. Paternity/Parentage

1. Does your state law require custody and visitation to be addressed at the time of paternity/parentage establishment? If yes, please describe and provide the statutory citation.
No, Custody and parenting time are not routinely addressed in a child support proceeding and are not addressed by IV-D attorneys. The court may include language in the child support order regarding custody and parenting time typically be agreement of the parties.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. 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
3. What is the state law citation that makes paternity acknowledgment conclusive? Please describe (if appropriate).
M.G.L. c. 209C, 17
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity/parentage without exceptions? Please describe and provide your statutory citation.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Does the father's name on the birth certificate constitute a conclusive presumption of paternity? Please provide your state citation. If no, please describe.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
6. Does your state have any other paternity/parentage-related presumptions? If yes, please describe.
Yes. Attempt to marry, agreed to support the child, jointly held out as own, acknowledged parentage in a parental responsibility claim. M.G.L. c. 209C, 6.
7. What, if any, is the agency name and link for your state's putative fathers' registry?
N/A MA does not have a putative father registry.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
8. What documents regarding paternity can your state's IV-D agency provide to other IV-D agencies? Are there any charges to the requesting IV-D agencies?
The IV-D agency can provide copies of judgments and may be able to obtain copies of other birth records. There are not any charges to the requesting IV-D agencies.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
9. Does your states bureau of vital statistics charge any fees to other states or private individuals for requesting searches, paternity/parentage documents, and data?
Yes. Fees are $20.00 per certified copy at their public counter and $32.00 by mail.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
9.1. Describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived?
Contact the IV-D agency to determine if fees may be waived.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
10. Is common-law marriage currently recognized in your state? If yes, describe the standard that defines common-law marriage and the date the standard went into effect.
No.
11. If there was a prior common-law standard in your state that is no longer in effect, what were the dates that standard was in effect? Describe the standard.
N/A
12. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should an initiating jurisdiction send one intergovernmental packet to your state (with a separate Declaration in Support of Establishing Parentage forms for each child) or a separate intergovernmental packet for each child?
One intergovernmental packet with a separate Declaration in Support of Establishing Parentage for each child.

6. Support Order Establishment

1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Judicial
1.1 If your state can establish both administratively and judicially, under what circumstances would your state use the administrative process? Please provide the statutory citation for your state's administrative procedures.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
1.2. Under what circumstances would your state use the judicial process? Please provide the statutory citation for your state's judicial procedures.
Under all circumstances. M.G.L. c. 209C, 209, 208 and Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. When setting support using your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial parent's (for example, custodial parent, spouse, child)?
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 parent's spouse (or other co-parent 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 gross disparity between the standards of living of the two households.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2.1. What documentation is required as proof/evidence of this information?
A completed Probate and Family Court Financial Statement, pay stubs, the most recent year's tax returns with all schedules and testimony of the parents.
3. 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 deviating, above or below the presumptive guidelines amount, including setting a child support order at $0, are as follows: 1.the parties agree and the Court determines the agreement to be fair and reasonable and approves their agreement; 2. a child has ongoing special needs or aptitudes with financial consequences; 3. a child has ongoing extraordinary mental, physical, or developmental needs with financial consequences; 4. a parent has ongoing extraordinary mental, physical, or developmental needs with financial consequences; 5. a parent has extraordinary expenses for health care coverage; 6. a parent has extraordinary travel or other expenses related to parenting time; 7. a parent has extraordinary child care costs for the children covered by this order; 8. a parent provides substantially less than one-third of the parenting time for a child or children; 9. the payor is incarcerated and has insufficient financial resources to pay support; 10. application of the guidelines, particularly in low income cases, leaves a parent without the ability to self support; 11. 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; 12. application of the guidelines may adversely impact reunification of a parent and child where the child has been temporarily removed from the household in accordance with G.L. c. 119; and 13. 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 these guidelines
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods of support? If yes, please describe (for example, from the birth of the child, from date of separation, prenatal expenses, five years retroactive).
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court may go as far back as the prenatal period.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4.1. What information or documentation does your state require to proceed with establishing support for prior periods?
The petition of a party and information/documentation showing that the parent is chargeable with the support of the child for the period, including information regarding the parent's ability to pay during that time period, the amount due under the Child Support Guidelines in effect at that time less payments made.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4.2. Will your state allow a petition for support for a minor child when the only issue is retroactive support?
No
4.3. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not a biological parent, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support when public assistance is being expended?
No but some individual courts may require proof of custody
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5.1. What about when public assistance is not being expended?
Yes, legal custody or guardianship is required.
6. When your state has issued an order that reserves support, and now child support should be ordered, does your state require establishment or modification?
The answer may vary in individual courts, but as a general rule the other state should request modification.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
7. 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 custodial parent obtain legal custody before child support is addressed? Please describe.
No. If the parent that gained custody applies for services, DOR will assist the new custodial parent in terminating the prior order and modifying (or establishing) an order to have the former custodial parent pay child support. If the court has not already made a custody order, it may address the custody and child support issues together.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

7. Income Withholding

1. What are specific sources of income not subject to withholding?
Federally excluded sources only, no sources excluded by state law.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. Does your state law adopt the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) income withholding limits? Please provide the statutory citation.
Yes. We use the CCPA limits.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2.1. Does your state have policies or procedures allowing the agency to use lower limits than the CCPA?
Only for cases where there is no longer a current support order and arrears are owed. We will make an administrative change to the income order based on hardship.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2.2. What are the withholding limits for non-employees?
We use the CCPA limits if regular, periodic payments. Otherwise, it is a case-by-case determination.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. What is the maximum fee for the administrative cost that an employer may charge for processing income withholding orders? (45 CFR 303.100 (e)(iii).
Up to $1.00 per deduction. M.G.L. c. 119A 12(f)(1).
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Does your state charge any fees to the noncustodial parent that the employer must withhold and remit to the state? If yes, please explain.
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Is an employer required to begin withholding after the date of service, receipt, or mailing of an income withholding order?
An employer is required to begin withholding no later than the first pay period occurring three working days after the date of the notice.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5.1. How many days following the first pay period that occurs after service, receipt, or mailing of an income withholding order is an employer required to begin withholding?
No later than the first pay period occurring three working days after the date of the notice.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
6. When must an employer remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Within three working days of the pay date/date of withholding. M.G.L. c. 119A 12(f)(5).
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
7. What are your state's sanctions for employers for not implementing income withholding?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
7.1. What are the penalties to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
Massachusetts law provides that an employer that fails to withhold child support or fails 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. M.G.L. c. 119A. 12(f)(3).
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
8. Does your state allow other jurisdictions to send income withholding orders for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits directly to your state's UI agency? If yes, please explain your process and include any additional required documents.
Yes. Send orders directly to: Division of Unemployment Assistance, 19 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, Attn: Child Support or faxed to Lorena Roberts or Regine Boursiquot at 617-727-0004. Please provide a contact name and phone number.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
8.1. If no, what is your state's process to aid the other jurisdictions in withholding UI benefits? Please describe and include the required documents.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
9. Does your state allow other jurisdictions to send income withholding orders directly to a noncustodial parent's financial institution in your state? If yes, please explain your process and include any additional required documents.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
9.1. If no, what is your state's process to aid the other jurisdiction in collecting from a financial institution? Please describe and include the required documents.
10. How does a noncustodial parent contest an income withholding in your state?
Noncustodial parent requests an administrative review. DOR conducts a review of documentation submitted by the parent and issues a final determination which is subject to judicial review. See M.G.L. c. 119A. 12(e).
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
11. How does your state allocate payments when there is more than one claim against the noncustodial parent's income? Should the payment be divided equally or pro-rated among the cases? (See 45 CFR 303.100(a)(5).)
DOR allocates on a pro-rata basis.
12. When calculating disposable income for child support purposes, what are the mandatory deductions from gross income required by state law, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
The employer must notify 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 - No Link Provided
14. When your state is enforcing an order and receives payment through income withholding that is not enough to cover the full amount ordered, how does your state apply the payment to the types of support (for example, current, arrears, medical, spousal support, other)? Please describe and provide the statutory citations, if appropriate.
DOR allocates first to child support, then to medical support, and finally to spousal support. If any funds remain, they are applied to arrears in the same order.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

8. Distribution

1. Does your state pass through collections (and disregard collections for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligibility purposes) in current assistance cases? If yes, provide the amount and explain.
Yes, up to a maximum of $50.
2. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases? If yes, provide the date and explain.
No
3. In former assistance cases, are federal income tax refund offset payments applied to families first (DRA distribution) or state arrears first (PRWORA distribution)?
PRWORA distribution rules.
4. How does your state distribute payments when the noncustodial parent has arrears due to your state and another state?
We follow our distribution rules.
4.1. If there are no arrears due to your state, how does your state distribute payments when the noncustodial parent has arrears due to multiple states?
We follow our distribution rules.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

9. Enforcement

1. What data matches (for example, financial institution, state lottery) and enforcement remedies are available through Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI) in your state? (See AT-08-06: Implementing Section 466(a)(14) of the Social Security Act, High-Volume, Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases.)
Financial Institution match and levy.
2. What criteria must be met, and in addition to Transmittal #3, what documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
3. What are your state's criteria for reporting a noncustodial parent's child support information to credit bureaus?
An annual notice was sent to the parent, 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.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. To which credit bureaus does your state report a noncustodial parent's child support information?
Experian and Innovis.
5. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative.
6. Can a noncustodial parent who no longer has a past-due account have the report removed from the credit bureau? If so, what must the noncustodial parent do?"
No. We follow credit reporting industry standards and report accounts which have been paid in full as a $0 balance.
7. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for federal administrative offset? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
No.
8. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for federal administrative offset? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
Yes $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. If there is a MSFIDM match, a levy notice will not be issued to the financial institution until the case meets the eligibility criteria for levy ($2,500 or more in arrears + interest + penalties, after crediting amounts on pre-distribution hold and no payments in last 6 weeks).
9. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for insurance match? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
No.
10. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for insurance match? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
No.
11. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for MSFIDM? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
Yes. The minimum required amount for submission to OCSE is $25. To be eligible for financial institution levy, the parent must owe arrears equal to or greater than $2,500 (principal, interest and penalties for all eligible cases, less amounts on pre-distribution hold) and have made no non-enforcement payments in the prior 6 weeks.
12. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for MSFIDM? If yes, what is the minimum past-due amount?
Yes. The minimum required amount for submission to OCSE is $25. To be eligible for financial institution levy, the parent must owe arrears equal to or greater than $2,500 (principal, interest and penalties for all eligible cases, less amounts on pre-distribution hold) and have made no non-enforcement payments in the prior 6 weeks.
13. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for passport denial?
No.
14. Are the financial institution attachment procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative.
15. Are there specific account types exempt from the administrative financial institution attachment process in your state? If yes, which account types are exempt?
Yes, ERISA qualified accounts.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
16. Is the financial institution attachment process in your state centralized and/or automated?
Both
17. What are the criteria to attach an account in a financial institution in your state?
DOR does not issue financial institution levies unless the parent has been sent a notice of the child support debt within the last 12 months, there is a valid court order and the parent owes $2,500 or more in arrears + interest + penalties, after crediting amounts on pre-distribution hold and has made no payments in the last 6 weeks.
18. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept enforcement actions directly from other states? If yes, provide the statutory citation. Please explain.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
19. If there are no statutory criteria required to attach an account, describe the process for requesting a financial institution attachment from another child support agency (for example, a Transmittal #3) and list additional documentation required.
20. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
21. Does your state require sending a notice of intent to the noncustodial parent when attaching an account in a financial institution? Who notifies the noncustodial parent - the state, the financial institution, or both?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
22. How long does the financial institution have to hold funds before sending the noncustodial parent's assets to your child support agency?
The financial institution is required to freeze funds upon receipt of the levy and remit the funds after 21 days. If not paid in full, the levy remains in effect for a total of 60 days from the date issued and the financial institution is required to remit any additional funds at the time the levy expires.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
23. Does your state law or policy require the financial institution and/or state to hold the attached assets during the challenge or appeal time frame? If yes, provide the statutory citation and time frames.
Yes. If we receive a request for an administrative review, we hold the funds until the review is resolved. If the funds are still with the financial institution we ask that the funds be held until we notify them of the results of the review.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
24. What amount or percentage of the noncustodial parent's financial assets are eligible for attachment? Is this different for joint accounts? Please explain.
No. All funds are eligible for attachment including funds in joint accounts.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
25. What are the criteria for a noncustodial parent and/or joint account holder to contest a financial institution attachment?
The parent has to demonstrate that no arrears are owed or a financial hardship exists. A joint account holder has to establish that the funds are solely those of the joint holder and the parent does not have access to the funds.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
26. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc.)? If yes, provide the statutory citation and the procedures to follow.
Yes. If the property to be levied is a security, or shares of a mutual fund other than a money market mutual fund, the parent 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 DOR 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 - No Link Provided
27. What are your state's criteria for driver's license revocation/suspension for nonpayment of support?
Total arrears principal and interest (excluding penalty) for all cases, after crediting pre-distribution hold, is $50 or more and there have been no payments for the prior 8 consecutive weeks.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
28. What are your state's criteria for driver's license restoration/reinstatement, including hardship exemptions?
A driver's license will be reinstated when one of the following occurs: the arrears balance is paid in full, the IV-D case is closed or converted to a non IV-D income withholding only case or the court orders reinstatement. A driver's license may also be reinstated if the parent enters into a payment agreement. A license payment agreement must be signed if the parent is paying less than the total amount owed. In certain circumstances, the license may be reinstated if the parent demonstrates a need that warrants reinstatement (license needed to commute to job or to access medical care for self or dependent child). The parent must sign a license payment agreement, unless paying total arrears owed. Upon satisfaction of terms for reinstatement, DOR notifies the Registry of Motor Vehicles that the parent'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.
29. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses? If yes, what are the criteria?
No.
30. What are your state's criteria for professional license revocation/suspension for nonpayment of support? Specify the professional license types.
Total arrears principal and interest (excluding penalty) for all cases, after crediting pre-distribution hold, is $50 or more and there have been no payments for the prior 8 consecutive weeks. All professional license types and occupational licenses are subject to suspensions.
31. What are your state's criteria for professional license restoration/reinstatement, including hardship exemptions?
A professional license will be reinstated when one of the following occurs: the arrears balance is paid in full, the IV-D case is closed or converted to a non IV-D income withholding only case or the court orders reinstatement. A professional license may also be reinstated if the parent enters into a payment agreement. A license payment agreement must be signed if the parent is paying less than the total amount owed. In certain circumstances, the license may be reinstated if the parent demonstrates a need that warrants reinstatement. The parent must sign a license payment agreement, unless paying total arrears owed. Upon satisfaction of terms for reinstatement, DOR notifies the licensing authority that the parent's professional license should no longer be suspended for failure to pay child support. The license is not reinstated until the applicable fees are paid.
32. Does your state allow temporary or conditional professional licenses? If yes, what are the criteria?
33. What are your state's criteria for recreational license revocation/suspension for nonpayment of support? Specify the recreational license types.
Total arrears principal and interest (excluding penalty) for all cases, after crediting pre-distribution hold, is $50 or more and there have been no payments for the prior 8 consecutive weeks for revocation of certain fishing, hunting and recreational vehicles.
34. What are your state's criteria for recreational license restoration/reinstatement, including hardship exemptions?
A recreational license will be reinstated when one of the following occurs: the arrears balance is paid in full, the IV-D case is closed or converted to a non IV-D income withholding only case or the court orders reinstatement. A recreational license may also be reinstated if the parent enters into a payment agreement. A license payment agreement must be signed if the parent is paying less than the total amount owed. There is no hardship exemption for recreational licenses. Upon satisfaction of terms for reinstatement, DOR notifies the licensing authority that the parent's recreational license should no longer be suspended for failure to pay child support. The license is not reinstated until the applicable fees are paid.
35. Does your state allow temporary or conditional recreational licenses? If yes, what are the criteria?
No.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
36. What are the criteria for initiating/filing a lien in your state?
The criteria for placing liens differs based on the type of property. However, before placing a lien on any property, DOR must have issued a notice of the child support debt at least 30 days prior to issuing the lien. 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 - No Link Provided
37. Is the lien process in your state primarily judicial, administrative, or both? Please describe.
Administrative
38. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale? If so, is this process primarily judicial, administrative, or both? Please describe.
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
39. Does your state have a state income tax refund offset as an enforcement remedy? If yes, describe whether the process for this remedy is primarily judicial, administrative, or a combination.
Yes. Administrative
40. Does your state intercept lottery or other types of gaming/gambling winnings in your state? If so, what kind of winnings are included?
Yes. Lottery winnings and casino winnings.
40.1. If yes, is this enforcement judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative.
41. What other administrative enforcement procedures are available in your state that are not otherwise described in the IRG?
None.
42. What other judicial enforcement procedures are available in your state that are not otherwise described in the IRG?
None.

10. Modification And Review/Adjustment

1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year or every three years)? (See 45 CFR 303.8.)
Every three years in TANF cases or upon request in TANF and non-TANF cases.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. What is your state's modification procedure? Briefly describe.
Modification is a judicial process and warranted if there is an inconsistency between the current order and application of the Child Support Guidelines or there is a need to address health care coverage.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. What are the criteria for modification under your state's guidelines (for example, a change that is more than $50 or 20% upward or downward from the current amount ordered)?
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, DOR requires a 15% deviation from the current child support order. If one of the parties requests that DOR pursue modification, the change in the order must be more than $5 per week. Parties who do not meet DOR criteria are informed that they may seek modification by filing in court.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4.1. The earnings of the noncustodial parent have substantially increased or decreased.
yes
4.2. The earnings of the custodial parent have substantially increased or decreased.
yes
4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
yes
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4.4. The cost of living has changed.
4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
yes
4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
yes
4.7. 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 is not required for an order to be modified. The criteria in 4.1 - 4.6 could all affect the guidelines amount and therefore would potentially result in a modification of the child support order.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Does your state have a cost of living adjustment (COLAs) for orders? If yes, what index does your state use? (See 45 CFR 303.8(b)(1)(ii).)
No. Statute allows for it, but that provision is not used by DOR at this time.
6. After learning that a parent who owes support will be incarcerated for more than 180 calendar days, does your state elect to initiate a review of an order without the need for a specific request, i.e., automatically? (See 45 CFR 303.8(b)(2).)
No.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

11. Lump Sum Payments

1. What is your state's definition of a lump sum, if it has one? Provide the statutory citation. (Note: States may define "lump sum" more broadly than only employer- related lump sums.)
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." 119A, sec. 1A(b)
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments? If yes, provide the statutory citation or rule.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. How does your state attach different types of lump sum payments? For example, does your state use the OMB-approved income withholding order for employer-issued bonuses, a lien, and levy notice for workers' compensation (if workers' compensation is considered a lump sum payment in your state), etc.?
The OMB-approved income withholding order to attach lump sum payments from an employer. For workers' compensation lump sum settlement, a third-party claim must be filed with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.

12. Cost Recovery And Fees

1. Does your state elect to recover costs in excess of any fees collected to cover administrative costs in your child support state plan? (See section 454(6) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 302.33(d).) If yes, does your state collect excess actual or standardized costs on a case-by-case basis? Please describe.
Yes, in limited circumstances and on a case by case basis, DOR will collect actual costs.
1.1. If yes, does your state recover costs from the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent? (Note: No costs can be assessed against a foreign custodial parent applying through a Central Authority in a Hague Convention country, a foreign reciprocating country, or a foreign country with state-level reciprocity.)
In some cases, the costs for genetic marker tests may be passed on to the parties.
2. Does your state recover costs on behalf of an initiating state that has elected to do cost recovery? If yes, describe.
No
3. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory $35 annual fee (after collecting the first $550)? This fee is applicable in IV-D cases in which individuals who never received IV-A assistance are receiving IV-D services. (See 45 CFR 302.33(e).) See options below.
3.1. Is it retained by the state from support collected?
No
3.2. Is it paid by the individual applying for child support services?
No
3.3. Is it recovered from the noncustodial parent?
No
3.4. Is it paid by the state out of its state funds?
Yes

13. Insurance Match

1. Does your state have legislation requiring insurance companies to work with child support agencies to identify claimants who owe past-due child support? Describe the requirements and provide the statutory citation. How does your state allocate payments when there is more than one claim against the noncustodial parent's income? Should the payment be divided equally or pro-rated among the cases? (See 45 CFR 303.100(a)(5).)

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. What criteria must a noncustodial parent meet to be eligible for your states participation in the federal insurance match program?
3. What process does your state use to intercept insurance payments?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
4. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your states workers compensation agency?

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Does your state participate in the Child Support Lien Network or CSLN (which provides insurance match services)?

14. Family Violence

15. CSENet

1. When your state is the initiating state, does it send a Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) case closure transaction to let the responding state know your state has closed its case (including the reason for closure) and/or the responding state's intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15; 45 CFR 303.7(c)(11).)
2. When your state is the responding state, does it 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)? Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (45 CFR 303.11(b)(17).) The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case? (45 CFR 303.7(d)(10).)
3. When your state is the initiating state, does it 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; 45 CFR 303.7(c)(12).)
4. When your state is the responding state, does it 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; 45 CFR 303.7(d)(9).)
5. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information? (MSC R GRINT)
6. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)

16. Copies Of Orders And Payment Records

1. What are the procedures and associated costs for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
Submit a Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3. There is no cost.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. What are the procedures and associated costs for obtaining a certified payment record?
Submit a Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3. There is no cost.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

17. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)

1. What is the statutory citation for your state's enactment of UIFSA?
M.G.L. c. 209D
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. How does your state define the tribunal (See UIFSA 103)?
A court, administrative agency or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders or to determine parentage of a child.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
3. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral that is not sent electronically?
One
4. Does your state require initiating states to send intergovernmental forms in a one-sided format (when sending paper copies)?
No

18. International - Reciprocity

1. With which foreign countries or other jurisdictions (such as Quebec) does your state have state-level reciprocity for child support? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating or Hague Convention countries.)
Quebec.
2. Does your state exercise its option for enforcement of spousal-only orders for a foreign reciprocating country, a Hague Convention country, or a foreign country with which your state has state-level reciprocity? (See section 454(32)(B) of the Social Security Act.)
No
3. Does your state agency accept direct applications for services from individuals residing outside the United States (See UIFSA 307 - Alternative A), or does your state's law allow discretion in accepting these applications (See UIFSA 307 - Alternative B)?
DOR uses discretion in accepting direct applications

19. International Information For Hague Convention Countries

1. 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
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically.
DOR presently accepts electronic documents and pleadings but encourages member countries to use mail when possible.
3. 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.
4. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. (See also question 1 under Support Details.)
The Child Support Guidelines require a tribunal to consider and address a variety of factors and additional expenses when determining a child support order. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/child-support-guidelines
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
5. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? If yes, describe.
Yes, but these services are not available directly from the IV-D agency.
6. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration?
Death or emancipation of the child. Generally, a child under 21 is emancipated if: the child is married; the child is in the military; the child is 18 years old and self-supporting and permanently no longer in the care of their parents. Modification by the court is required for early termination of support.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

20. International Payments

1. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and Hague Convention 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.
2. 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.
3. Does your state accept electronic payments from foreign reciprocating or Hague Convention countries in international cases? If so, provide payment instructions.
Yes. Please refer to the NACHA approved IAT file layout.

21. Tribal Non IV-D

1. Has your state established cooperative arrangements with any Indian tribes or tribal organizations that don't have a tribal IV-D program?
No
1.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
2. Does your state have any IV-D attorneys licensed to practice in the courts of Indian tribes or tribal organizations that don't have tribal IV-D programs?
No