Rhode Island Child Support

How to apply for child support in Rhode Island

Any custodial parent or legal guardian of a child in Rhode Island may request child support services from the state. To apply for child support, simply file a request for child support services either online, by mail or in person. Anyone can complete an application on the Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services website or call 401-458-4400 to request a copy.  Download Forms.

How to Calculate Child Support in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island takes into account the weekly gross incomes of both parents and all mandatory deductions to determine each parent's percentage share of a monthly support order.

How to claim and pay child support?

Support payments in Rhode Island are collected via income withholding, mail or credit card and disbursed via a KIDS Card or direct deposit.

Child Support Performance Stats for Rhode Island

The Office of Child Support Enforcement establishes performance goals and measures successes based on year-to-year performance.

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 (%) 92.54 92.97 93.2 92.34 93.25
Support Order Establishment (%) 67.08 68.65 71.31 76.41 78.84
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 4.94 5.44 5.55 5.86 5.38

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 ($) 66.34 69.2 71.24 73.77 74.33
Total Distributed to Families ($) 61.91 64.93 67.07 69.78 70.52
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 14.34 13.55 13.65 13.37 14.66

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can child support be paid off early

Yes, it is possible to make lump payments.

What Will happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?

All attempts will be made to recover the funds that have not been paid.

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

Yes, it is possible to receive alimony and support payments simultaneously in Rhode Island.

Can you stop child support payments?

No, it is not possible to stop support payments unless the action has been approved by the court.

Child Support and Taxes

Child support will not generally affect the tax situation of any party involved in Rhode Island.

Can child support payments be claimed on taxes in Rhode Island?

No, you cannot claim support payments on taxes in Rhode Island.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Rhode Island?

It is not possible to claim support as income or deduct payments that have been made.

Can child support be taken pre tax?

No, no program exists that allows for pre-tax support payments.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

Yes, it is possible that your tax return could be intercepted if you fall behind on payments.

Paternity Establishment

It is essential to establish paternity in Rhode Island before a support case can be opened and enforced.

How do you establish paternity?

A father can legally establish paternity at the hospital, at the Office of Child Support Services or upon being served with a Complaint for Paternity.

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

A father does not have rights until paternity has been established.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

A Rhode Island court can order genetic testing if either parent refuses to comply.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

The court will typically allow the use of a family member's DNA.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

All DNA testing that is done must comply with the law.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Rhode Island?

Paternity in Rhode Island can be established until a child turns 18.

Support order establishment

Rhode Island’s Office of Child Support Services will file to establish a support order after receiving an application by a custodial parent. Once the non-custodial parent is located an officer of the court will serve them with the support order.

State Child Support orders

A support order can be established once a non-custodial parent has been located and paternity has been established.

Can child support be modified?

Yes, either parent can request a modification through the Rhode Island Family Court.

How do I file for a modification of child support?

A parent should contact the Office of Child Support Services and request to file a piece of paperwork called a Motion to Modify.

Can a child support order appealed?

Yes, either party can file a motion for review and adjustment.

Do you need a lawyer to modify child support?

No, but it is highly recommended that you seek legal support.

When can you modify child support?

A review can be requested every three years or when a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.

Child support Enforcement

How long does the child support enforcement take?

Enforcement of past-due payments automatically kicks in when a parent is 30 days late.

What to do when child support is not paid?

Contact the state's support services offices.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?

You will face passport denial, liens, a restraining order, license suspensions, confiscation of tax refunds, criminal prosecution and much 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 child support debt be forgiven?

No, Rhode Island has a zero-tolerance policy for support debt.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

You will need to file a motion to terminate support.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

Once a child becomes emancipated in some form or custody is reversed.

Can the custodial parent close a child support case?

A custodial parent can file a motion to have an order dismissed.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

When a child reaches the legal age of emancipation for the state.

What is the legal age to stop paying child support?

When a child turns 18 or graduates from high school before the age of 19.

Rhode Island Hearing Rights

Both parents have in-person and telephonic hearing rights in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines

Rhode Island's Office of Child Support Services uses specific guidelines that are reviewed every four years.

Rhode Island Child Support Coverage

What is child support meant to cover?

Expenses related to food, shelter, education and life experiences are all covered by child support in Rhode Island.

Does Child Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

The Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services is obligated to secure medical coverage or a cash medical order in every case.

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

Yes, a non-custodial parent will need to cover a percentage of childcare costs based on income.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by Child Support?

Yes, transportation costs can be covered.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?

Internet access, access to movies and television shows, entry fees for events and more can all fall under the category of basic entertainment in Rhode Island.

Are College expenses Covered by Child Support in Rhode Island?

No, not unless a specific agreement has been reached.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Yes, fees for extracurricular activities are typically included in support obligations in Rhode Island.

Are School Related Costs Covered by Child Support?

While private school costs are not necessarily covered by child support in Rhode Island, all normal school-related costs typically are covered.

Rhode Island Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
State of Rhode Island Department of Human Services - Office of Child Support Services 77 Dorrance Street Providence, RI N/A (401) 458-4400 http://www.cse.ri.gov/

County Child Support Offices in RI

County name Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Bristol County Providence County, RI Office of Child Support Services 77 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903 N/A 1(401) 458-4400 http://www.cse.ri.gov/
Kent County Providence County, RI Office of Child Support Services 77 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903 N/A 1(401) 458-4400 http://www.cse.ri.gov/
Newport County Providence County, RI Office of Child Support Services 77 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903 N/A 1(401) 458-4400 http://www.cse.ri.gov/
Providence County Providence County, RI Office of Child Support Services 77 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903 N/A 1(401) 458-4400 http://www.cse.ri.gov/
Washington County Providence County, RI Office of Child Support Services 77 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903 N/A 1(401) 458-4400 http://www.cse.ri.gov/