The state of Rhode Island believes that it is the imperative of a child’s parents to take care of them physically and emotionally, and to that end has enacted a series of rules and regulations concerning the dissolution of a marriage as it applies to child support. If you have currently concluded a divorce settlement and the order has been finalized, including the issues of custody and visitation (or paternity), then you can move forward with applying for child support in the state of Rhode Island.
Getting Started with Child Support in Rhode Island
There is a annual fee of twenty dollars to enroll in the Child Support Services computer system. For the most part, other than paying the fee, the Rhode Island Family Court system will load your information for you into the computer. Once that occurs then all of the child support issues will be handled through this website. Most payments from the non-custodial parent will be done through wage withholding and sent to the RIFC. The finds are then directly deposited into your bank account, or onto a KIDS Card (prepaid Visa type card). The Office of Child Support no longer mails checks, so all payments are made electronically. You can apply for child support in a couple of ways. First, you can complete the CSS-1 form and send the money order or check for 20$. The form is here: http://www.cse.ri.gov/documents/Application2013.pdf
The second way to apply is to request the application for services over the phone, if you are not able to have access to a computer.
For Non-Custodial Parents
There are several ways that you can maintain your obligation to pay child support in Rhode Island. First you can pay directly onto the website using a credit card: https://www.paybill.com/childsupportservices/ There is a convenience fee of 5.75 attached to the payment. You can also have an automatic debit set up. The link to download the application and submit is here: https://ri.smartchildsupport.com/
If for some reason you believe that amount that you have been called upon to remit each month is significantly impacting your life, you can file for a motion to change the orders. Keep in mind that though it might seem like it, the OCSS does not represent one parent over another. If anyone, they represent the child.
How much Will I Pay for Child Support in Rhode Island?
One of the second most asked questions of the OCSS is the question of amounts. Custodial parents want to know how much they can count on for support of the child, and non-custodial parents want to know how much will be coming out of their paychecks each month. The OCSS in conjunction with the Rhode Island Legislature compiled a set of guidelines (that only lawyers can actually read and make sense of). These guidelines take into consideration the income of both parents and their circumstances, and then assigns a monthly amount. A quick calculator (MUCH easier to use) can be located here: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/rhode_island/ While this calculator is not an exact amount, it can give you a potential estimate.