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What happens when DOR/CSE charges interest and penalties?

Produced by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp
Reviewed June 2013

The Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE) charges interest and penalties for past-due child support over $500.

They charge you every month the past-due child support is over $500.

They do not charge interest and penalties when you pay the correct amount of child support in the month it is due.

You may not to have to pay interest and penalties in certain situations:

  • you receive public assistance;
  • your child lives with you;
  • you are unable to pay child support temporarily because you lost your job, but you must looking for work;
  • you are disabled;
  • you live in an institution;
  • you are in prison and you are participating in, or you have successfully completed a DOR/CSE approved counseling, job training, or self-improvement program;
  • you have a court order that has reduced, suspended, or ended your child support;
  • you are on active duty in the military and are paying child support by income assignment from your pay, but the amount taken out is less than what you are supposed to pay; or
  • you have been approved for a hardship exemption by DOR/CSE.

You must give DOR/CSE written proof that at least one of these situations applies to you.

If you owe interest to the other parent, you will have to pay it.

The DOR/CSE encourages payors who may not have to pay interest and penalties to call their caseworker.  DOR/CSE provides interpreters for phone calls with caseworkers.

For details about interest and penalties see DOR/CSE regulations.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Stop DOR from collecting

If you owe back child support to DOR, use this guided interview to stop DOR from collecting.

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