Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

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Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

Even if the non-custodial parent lives outside the state of Rhode Island, the law requires cooperation between states. The non-custodial parent is legally required to make regular child support payments, regardless of where they live.

Rhode Island Support Enforcement Measures

If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and Rhode Island child support law to collect regular and past-due payments.

  • License Suspension – (driver’s license, professional, business or occupational licenses)
  • Vehicle Registration Suspension – (car, truck, boat, and airplane registrations)
  • Intercept of insurance proceeds
  • Income Witholding – employers withhold payments from paychecks
  • State and federal tax refund intercept
  • Intercept of lottery winnings
  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Placement of liens on personal or real property of the non-custodial parent
  • Passport application denial
  • Contempt of court charges which may include jail time

Who Can Enforce Court Ordered Child Support in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Child Support Agency Program is the state-run child support enforcement office for Rhode Island. The State of Rhode Island is required by federal law to provide services through the Child Support Agency Program (CSAP) and is funded by the federal government and the state of Rhode Island.

Full Time Equiv. Staff 120
Total Caseload 58,468

1 U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Boxscores for FY 2005

Interest on Missed Child Support Payments

Rhode Island provides for interest to be charged on late child support payments, retroactive support and adjudicated arrears at a rate of 12% yearly.

Rhode Island’s Statute of Limitations on Back Child Support Payments (Arrears)

Enforcement of past due child support in Rhode Island is not subject to a Statute of Limitations.

Rhode Island’s Statute of Limitations for Determination of Paternity

In Rhode Island, paternity must be established within 4 years after the child reaches the age of majority.

Age of Emancipation / Age of Majority in Rhode Island

The age of emancipation in Rhode Island is 18 or if the child is attending high school, then upon graduation or age 19, which comes first. (ยง15-5-16.2(b) of RI General Laws)

How Are Child Support Payment Amounts Determined in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has adopted the income shares model to determine the weekly child support order. It is based upon the philosophy that children are entitled to the standard of living based upon both parents monthly income. In order to calculate a monthly child support order, the court takes the following into account: the weekly gross income of both parents before taxes and before any other deductions, mandatory deductions (health insurance premiums, pre-existing child support payments, support of additional children). The court may consider the following discretionary deductions: retirement benefits, life insurance payments, extraordinary medical expenses, income tax adjustments, and payment of original marital debts.

Custody and Visitation Issues

Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. The court determines both and will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay support and the custodial parent to make the child available for visits.

The custodial parent must obey the court order for visitation, even if the non-custodial parent cannot or will not pay child support. The court can enforce any of its orders against either parent.