The Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) provides services to both the custodial parent (parent who receives support) and the non - custodial parent (parent who pays support). OCSS does not legally represent either party. OCSS provides the following services to all non-custodial parents who are currently customers of OCSS.
If your wages are not withheld from your pay check by your employer, or you need to make a lump sum payment, you have the following payment options:
Please be sure to include your case number or docket number on the check or money order.
If your case is currently receiving services from the Office of Child Support Services, and you are a resident of Rhode Island, you may request a modification (defined as a decrease or suspension) of your support order. OCSS can help provide you with your request for modification, this is called a "Motion for Relief".
You can look to the Guidelines for an idea of how much child support the court might order by viewing this link. RI Child Support Guidelines
The court may decrease your child support order, suspend your order or may make no change at all. We recommend you check the guideline calculation worksheet to see if a modification would be considered at the present time.
Note: If you are a parent who pays child support and you are incarcerated, do not follow these instructions. Send us an email at Community Outreach Liaison or send a letter to this address requesting a package specific to your needs.
Here is what to expect once the completed request is received and reviewed by a Child Support Representative:
If OCSS agrees that a modification of the child support / medical support order might be allowed, we will complete the remaining necessary steps. OCSS will generate and electronically file your Motion for Relief, obtain the assigned court date from Rhode Island Family Court, and serve / notify the other parent. If there is any cost to serve / notify the other parent, OCSS will pay that cost. It may take several days before OCSS receives the court date that is assigned by Family Court. Anticipate one - two months before a Judge / Magistrate hears the motion filed. Notification and required forms needed for your hearing will also be sent to you. Please bring these documents filled out and completed with you, on the scheduled court date. The Judge / Magistrate will need to review these documents before a decision on your motion is made.
If OCSS does not agree that a modification might be appropriate, OCSS will return the forms to you with a "Notice of Rejection". This letter will specify the reason(s) your request is being rejected by OCSS. Should you decide to proceed to file the motion without the help of OCSS, instructions will also be provided. Please remember: If you choose to go forward, you will have to file the forms required by Rhode Island Family Court for the modification/relief motion on your own. Usually, this is done over the counter at Family Court. The Court Clerk will assign you a court date once your request is reviewed. It is then your responsibility to provide service / notification for the other parent – you will be required to pay any cost of service to that parent (if applicable). No assistance from OCSS will be provided.
If it is determined that a modification might be appropriate, but the location of the other parent is unknown, we will try to locate the other parent. We will proceed with the modification or Motion for Relief once the other parent is located.
If it is determined that a modification might be appropriate, but a Rhode Island Family Court does not have authority to make a modification to your order, we will send a request to the state that can modify the order.
If you do not want the help of OCSS, you can file a Motion for Relief as a self-represented litigant or by yourself directly with the RI Family Court. If you decide this option then OCSS will not be responsible to serve the forms, will not pay cost of service, and will not schedule the hearing for you. The appropriate paperwork can be obtained at the RI Family Court Clerk's Office at One Dorrance Plaza, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903.
The court will require some sort of evidence (documentation or testimony) about a parent's ability to pay. Examples of these documents include:
If OCSS is assisting you when you go to court, our staff attorney will appear at the court hearing and provide the court with any information we have about the income and assets of both parents. OCSS does not represent either parent. Our goal is to ensure that the child support order is consistent with the parents' ability to pay utilizing the Child Support Guidelines.
Please Note: The form that is filled out with the court includes your address, and it will be delivered to the other parent. You must notify OCSS if you want your address protected from the other parent, or if you have safety concerns related to the other parent and moving forward with a modification could create a safety risk to you of your children.BR> BR>
If a Rhode Island Court Order requires a modification or change, OCSS can provide assistance to you. You must be the non – custodial parent, and live out of state. This is actually two requests. One being a Motion for Relief, and the second is a request for a Telephonic Hearing. OCSS can assist you with these requests. All the details about which type of relief you might qualify for are outlined above. Please refer to the above sections, so the correct relief is requested for you.
To assist you with both your Motion for Relief and Telephonic hearing request, all necessary forms have been included in a packet. That packet is available, to you here:Request for Telephonic Hearing for a Motion for Relief BR> BR>
OCSS can provide assistance to you, if you as the non-custodial parent are not a RI resident, and a Rhode Island Court order requires relief other than a modification (decrease or suspension of an order). Some examples include driver’s license suspension reinstatement, passport denial, DNA, a suspension of interest, etc., you must file a Motion for Relief as a Self-Represented Litigant. A packet has been designed to assist you with all necessary forms included. This includes a Telephonic Hearing Request / Self-Represented Litigant Relief Request / Entry of Appearance / and the OCSS-1, which is used for the Judge / Magistrate to review your financial records.Request for Telephonic Hearing as a Self - Represented Litigant BR> BR>
OCSS will provide assistance to you, if you as the non-custodial parent are not a RI resident, and you wish to participate in a hearing being held in a Rhode Island Court. The packet with the necessary forms for you to participate in a hearing already scheduled / or to set a new court date where you are able to participate by telephone and the instructions explaining the process are available here:Request for a Telephonic Hearing
Please remember to provide an accurate phone number where you can be contacted.
If your case is currently receiving services from OCSS, you may be entitled to participate in Project Restore. Project Restore is a program designed to help non-custodial parents who were paying their child support consistently, but can no longer do so due to job loss.
We provide intake referral services to each NCP individually, so their individual needs will be met. Services may include: assistance with filing a Motion for Relief, referral for job training, referral for SNAP benefits, housing, counseling, parenting class etc. The primary goal of Project Restore is to help the NCP enter suitable employment. This often is accomplished through assistance with resume writing, interviewing skills, and job leads.
Ultimately, Project Restore hopes to encourage NCP's regular participation in a child’s life, increase a child’s well - being, reduce parental conflicts, reduce the number of enforcement actions, and to restore child support as a reliable source of income.
For additional information, please contact:
Darleen Reyes Community Outreach Liaison at (401) 458 - 4425