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Know the Laws: Massachusetts

UPDATED November 28, 2016

Below you will find basic information on child support in Massachusetts.

back to topWho can get child support?

You can seek a child support order if you are raising your child and living separately from the other parent.  It does not matter whether you are married or unmarried.*

If you are unmarried, before the court can issue a child support order, the father’s paternity (legal fatherhood) has to be established.** The father and mother can voluntarily acknowledge paternity together by signing and filing an acknowledgment of parentage, or you can seek to have paternity established by a court order.***

Child support can be filed for as part of a divorce action, a separation action, a custody action, a paternity action, or it can be filed for on its own. You can also receive a temporary child support order as part of a 209A abuse prevention order.****

* M.G.L.A. 209C § 9; M.G.L.A. 208 § 28; M.G.L.A. 209 § 37
** M.G.L.A. 209C § 11
*** M.G.L.A. 209C § 2
**** M.G.L.A. 209A § 3(e)

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back to topHow long does child support last?

A parent is obligated to support his/her child until the age of 18 at least, and until the age of 21 if the child is still living with a parent and primarily dependent upon that parent.*

* M.G.L.A. 209C § 1; M.G.L.A. 208 § 28

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back to topHow much child support might I get?

Child support payments are calculated according to the MA Child Support Guidelines, available on the MA government website, here.  For more information on how to get your child support order enforced once you have the order, visit the MA Child Support Enforcement website.

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