Getting child support as part of a 209A protective order is an important decision. It can help you keep you and your children safe. But only you can decide if you need child support to keep you and your children safe. Only you can decide if it is safe to ask for child support as part of your 209A order.
If you need child support to be included in your 209A protective order, you will need to:
- Decide which court you are going to ask for child support as part of the 209A order.
- Decide if you want the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE) to collect child support for you.
- Check Box 7 on page 1 of the Complaint for Protection from Abuse and fill out the extra forms you need.
- Know that the judge will probably not order child support at the first hearing. The first hearing is the one where you go to court for an emergency order, and the defendant does not know about the case yet. You will have to come back for a second hearing, the “10-day” or “extension” hearing.
- At the second hearing be ready to explain why you need child support
- Know what to say if the judge tells you to go to a different court.
How can a 209A child support order help me be safe?
Getting child support in your 209A order can help you and your children be safe because:
- it will help you take care of your children on your own;
- it will help pay for things your children may need because of the abuse;
- it will help get child support sooner than going through a separate child support case;
- you will not have to deal with the abuser in another child support case;
- the abuser will not be allowed to contact you about child support;
- DOR/CSE can collect the child support from the abuser for you -
- the abuser can pay the child support to the DOR/CSE, or
- the abuser's employer can take child support from his paycheck and send it to the DOR/CSE; and
- the abuser does not need to know where you are.
Which court do I go to?
Any court that handles 209A cases can order child support in your 209A restraining order case. District Courts, Boston Municipal Courts, and the Probate and Family Courts handle 209A cases. If you have time to decide about which court to go to, think about:
- Which court is the safest one for you;
- Which court is the easiest for you to get to;
- Probate and Family Courts may ask you for more complicated paperwork; and
- What to say if the judge at District or Boston Municipal Courts tells you to go to the Probate and Family Court for child support.
What forms do I need?
When you ask for child support with a 209A order, use all the same forms you use for a 209A order plus a few more. The forms you will need are:
- Page 1Complaint for Protection from Abuse (G.L. c. 209A),
- Page 2 Complaint for Protection from Abuse (G.L. c. 209A) Issues Pertaining to Children,
- Plaintiff Confidential Information Form,
- Defendant Information Form
- Plaintiff's Affidavit in Support of Request for a Child Support Order,
- the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet,
- andif you file in Probate and Family Court you may need:
What are these forms for?
Page 1 Complaint for Protection from Abuse (G.L. c. 209A)
Section J of the form starts, “Therefore I ask the court”. Check all the boxes that tell the court what you need. If you need child support, check Box 7. Box 7 tells the judge you are also filing page 2 of the Complaint form. Page 2 is about children.
Page 2 Complaint for Protection from Abuse (G.L. c. 209A)
says "Issues Pertaining to Children" at the top. To ask for child support, check the box in section F. TEMPORARY SUPPORT. Section F is at the bottom of the page. See a sample page 2. The box in part F that asks for temporary support is checked.
Plaintiff's Affidavit in Support of Request for a Child Support Order You are the plaintiff. The abusive person is the defendant.
Use this form to tell the judge information he or she needs to know about your income, the defendant's income and expenses.
This child support affidavit is new in 2012. When you sign it, you are swearing it is the truth.
Plaintiff Confidential Information Form Use this form to give the court personal information like your address and phone number and to keep it safe from the defendant.
Defendant Information Form Use this form to tell the police how to find and identify the abusive person.
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Judges must follow rules when they decide how much child support to order. The rules are called the Child Support Guidelines. Judges use the Worksheet to work out how much support the Guidelines say they should order. On the worksheet, the parent who is paying child support is the “payor”. If your child lives with you, and you will be the parent getting child support, you are the "recipient”.
At the bottom of the form, you can see the words, Child Support Guidelines Chart. This chart shows you the "combined support amount" that goes on line 2(a) of the Worksheet. The online worksheet calculates this number for you automatically.
Financial Statement - only if you file in Probate and Family Court.
If you file your 209A restraining order case in the Probate and Family Court, you may have to file a Financial Statement also. See How to Fill Out a Financial Statement. The defendant would also have to file a Financial Statement.
To keep the defendant from learning information that may risk your safety:
- Do not put your address; telephone number; your employer's name, address, and telephone number on the Financial Statement
- You may need to keep other information in the Financial Statement confidential also. File a Motion for Impoundment and Affidavit to ask the judge to keep the defendant from seeing the other information.
Learn the basics about 209A protective orders.
See some sample forms already filled out:
- Sample 209A Complaint for Protection from Abuse page 1 with affidavit
- Sample 209A Complaint for Protection from Abuse page 2
- Sample Affidavit in Support of Request for Child Support Order.
- Sample 209A Plaintiff Confidential Information form
- Sample 209A Defendant Information form
- Sample Motion for Impoundment and Affidavit