Maine Child Support

How to apply for child support in Maine

Child support is managed by the Maine Division of Child Support and Recovery. To apply for a child support order you must complete a request for services application. You can file an application for service from the Maine CSER either online, by mail or in person.  Download Forms.

How to Calculate Child Support in Maine?

Support amounts in Maine are calculated by factoring in the number of children who are subject to the pending action, the gross monthly income totals of both parents, monthly daycare costs, monthly health insurance costs and any support amounts that are paid toward existing cases.

How to claim and pay child support?

Support payments can be made via ExpertPay, by check or by money order and received via direct deposit or the ReliaCard.

Child Support Performance Stats for Maine

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for managing and reporting on the state's child support services.

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) 106.71 105.36 102.77 102.86 103.93
Support Order Establishment (%) 89.17 90.37 94.39 95.41 95.08
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 3.71 3.76 3.59 3.5 3.46

Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program

Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Distributed Collections ($) 99.66 98.48 96.57 98.68 100.75
Total Distributed to Families ($) 80.66 81.31 81.42 83.95 86.45
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 28.15 27.44 28.3 29.69 30.46

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can child support be paid off early

Yes, it's possible to make lump support payments in advance in Maine.

What Will happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?

Maine's Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery (DSER) will use all legal means available to find you and recover unpaid support.

Can you get alimony and child support at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to receive both child support and alimony at the same time in Maine.

Can you stop the support payments?

No, you cannot stop making support payments unless you have been given permission by a court to do so.

Child Support and Taxes

Support payments do not affect the taxes of either parent.

Can child support payments be claimed on taxes in Maine?

No, it's not possible to claim support payments on your taxes in Maine.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Maine?

Support payments in Maine do not count as income or qualify for deductions.

Can child support be taken pre-tax?

No, it's not possible to make pre-tax child support payments in Maine.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

Yes, enforcement officials may go after your federal tax return if you are behind on payments.

Paternity Establishment

Establishing paternity must be done before a support order can be established.

How do you establish paternity?

Paternity in Maine is established when a child is born during a marriage, when both parents sign a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or through a court order.

What rights does a father have if not on a birth certificate?

A man does not have any parental rights or obligations until paternity is legally established.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

Genetic testing is often ordered by a Maine court if paternity is being contested.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

A court will typically permit the DNA of a family member to be used to establish paternity.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

A Maine court can order genetic testing if deemed necessary.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Maine?

Paternity in Maine can be established until a child turns 18.

Support order establishment

To establish a support order the custodial parent must first file a request for services with the Maine Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery. After processing the application the DSER will file a support order.

State Child Support orders

An order can be created once paternity has been established and all of the necessary paperwork has been completed.

Can the support be modified?

Yes, modifications can be made to support orders in Maine.

How do I file for a modification of child support?

You can submit a request for an order review with the state's Case Review Unit.

Can a child support order appealed?

Yes, appeals can be made within 20 days of an order being created in the District Court.

Do you need a lawyer to modify child support?

It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer before making an attempt to modify a support order in Maine.

When can you modify the support?

Requests for modifications can be made every three years or whenever it is discovered that the amount of the present obligation is 15 percent greater than or less than what is called for under Maine's child support guidelines.

Child support Enforcement

How long does the child support enforcement take?

Actual time frames will depend on whether or not resources need to be put into locating a parent.

What to do when the support is not paid?

Tell a representative at your district support office if a payment is late.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?

You may face garnishment of wages, liens, a suspended license, passport denial, contempt of court charges and more.

How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?

Support that is overdue by two years or that totals $10,000 or more.

Can the support debt be forgiven?

No, Maine does not offer a program for support debt forgiveness.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

You will need to appeal the order that was created by the court during the given window or request a modification.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

When your child reaches the legal age of emancipation, when your child becomes legally emancipated by some other method or when custody changes.

Can the custodial parent close a child support case?

It may be possible depending on the level of services being provided by the Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery on your case.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

When a child reaches the legal age of emancipation or if a qualifying life circumstance occurs.

What is the legal age to stop paying the support?

18 years old or 19 years old if a child is still in high school.

Maine hearing rights

Maine provides both parents with hearing rights when it comes to establishing, enforcing and changes orders.

ME Child Support Guidelines

Maine uses a set of guidelines to establish norms for how much parents should pay and what support can be used to cover.

Maine Child Support Coverage

What is the support meant to cover?

Maine Child Support laws are intended to cover essentials like food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, general education costs and more.

Does the Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

Yes, insurance coverage and medical care are taken into account when establishing support totals.

What if Both Parents are working, will the Support Cover child care services?

Yes, daycare is one of the basic categories that Maine works into its support guidelines.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by the Support?

Yes, costs related to transportation are typically covered by support.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?

Internet connections, movies, television shows and tickets to events could all be considered basic entertainment.

Are College expenses Covered by Child Support?

No, not unless a special agreement has been reached by the parents.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Yes, costs associated with extracurricular activities are typically covered in Maine.

Are School Related Costs Covered by Child Support?

Yes, most school-related costs are shared between parents in Maine.

Maine Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Maine Child Support: Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery (DSER) 11 State House Station 19 Union Street Augusta, ME (207) 624-4168

County Child Support Offices in ME

County name Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Kennebec County Kennebec County, ME Augusta Child Support Office 35 Anthony Avenue, 11 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333 1(207) 624-8090
Penobscot County Penobscot County, ME Bangor Child Support Office 396 Griffin Road, Bangor, ME 04401 1(207) 561-4100
York County York County, ME Biddeford Child Support Office 208 Graham Street, Biddeford, ME 04005 1(207) 286-2400
Aroostook County Aroostook County, ME Caribou Child Support Office 30 Skyway Drive, Unit 100, Caribou, ME 04736 1(207) 493-4000
Hancock County Hancock County, ME Ellsworth Child Support Office 17 Eastward Lane, Ellsworth, ME 04605 1(207) 664-1400
Franklin County Franklin County, ME Farmington Child Support Office 114 Corn Shop Lane, Farmington, ME 04938 1(207) 778-8400
Aroostook County Aroostook County, ME Fort Kent Child Support Office 139 Market Street, Suite 109, Fort Kent ME 04743 1(207) 834-1000
Aroostook County Aroostook County, ME Houlton Child Support Office 11 High Street, Houlton, ME 04730 1(207) 532-5000
Androscoggin County Androscoggin County, ME Lewiston Child Support Office 200 Main Street, Lewiston, Me 04240 1(207) 795-4300
Washington County Washington County, ME Machias Child Support Office 38 Prescott Drive, Machias, Me 04654 1(207) 255-2000
Cumberland County Cumberland County, ME Portland Child Support Office 151 Jetport Boulevard, South Portland, ME 04102 1(207) 822-2000
Knox County Knox County, ME Rockland Child Support Office 91 Camden Street, Suite 103, Rockland, Me 04841 1(207) 596-4200
York County York County, ME Sanford Child Support Office 890 Main Street, Suite 208, Sanford, Me 04073 1(207) 490-5400
Somerset County Somerset County, ME Skowhegan Child Support Office 98 North Avenue, Suite 10, Skowhegan, Me 04976 1(207) 474-4800
Oxford County Oxford County, ME South Paris Child Support Office 243 Main Street, Suite #6, South Paris, Me 04281 1(207) 744-1200