Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services (OCS / DHS)
“It is the responsibility of each parent – both mother and father – to make sure their child has enough food to eat, has their health care needs met, clothes to wear, and a safe place to live. Still, some children do not get the support they need. Regardless of their living situation or relationship, both parents should provide the financial and emotional support a child needs to grow into a responsible adult. Rhode Island’s child support program can help.
To encourage parental responsibility, the Office of Child Support Services establishes paternity of children, establishes court orders for financial and medical support, modifies or changes the order when appropriate, and vigorously enforces support orders. The Office of Child Support Services promotes the emotional involvement of both parents in the life of the child by working with other state agencies, community groups, schools and hospitals.
There are two parents in every child support case. One is the custodial parent, the one who lives with the child and has the primary day-to-day responsibility and who is entitled to receive child support for the care of the child. And the other is the non-custodial parent who may have visitation, or joint custody of the child and who is obligated to pay child support . In more than 90 percent of the cases, the father is the non-custodial parent.
Remember: your child has the right to support and you have the right to this help. All the services described on this site are available to you.
We hope the information here will help you find your way along the child support road. Keep in mind: Child support is more than just money.” — Office of Child Support Services, Rhode Island DHS
Parents in Rhode Island have a legal responsibility to support their children financially. If you are facing child support issues, it is important to understand your rights and options.
The Rhode Island child support system is designed to help ensure that children receive the financial support they need from both parents. Child support orders can be issued by the court or negotiated as part of a divorce or separation agreement.
Rhode Island’s child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The guidelines are designed to ensure that children receive a fair financial contribution from both parents.
If you are a parent who is owed child support, there are a number of ways to enforce a child support order. The Rhode Island Department of Human Services can help you locate a non-custodial parent, establish paternity, and obtain a child support order. If the other parent is not cooperating, you may be able to request wage withholding or file a contempt action.