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Can I get child support if we live in a different state than my child’s other parent?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & MertroWest Legal Services
Reviewed June 2023

You and your children can still get support payments if:

  • You have an Order from the court for child support. And,
  • You left Massachusetts after the court or the child’s other parent gave you permission to leave.

There is an agency in each state that helps you collect or enforce your child support order. These “IV-D agency” (pronounced “4-D”) services are often free for low- or moderate-income families. See, Child Support.

If you have a child support order with a wage assignment payable to the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR), tell DOR your new address. They will keep collecting the money and send it to you. You can ask the agency to keep your address confidential if you are worried about your or your child’s safety.

Note:

The other parent can ask the court to lower the support payments if you move out of state. They ask with a “Request to Modify the Support Order.” The other parent must give you notice when they ask. You can “Oppose” their request.

The court may reduce the support especially if the other parent must pay more money than before to stay in touch with your child. Only a judge can decide to lower the child support amount.

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