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What is the Office of Child Support Services not allowed to do?

Last week, this blog discussed the role the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) has in Rhode Island. We went over what the office is permitted to do on child support orders. Today, we will look at the issue from a different perspective, and discuss what the office may not do.

First of all, it is important to keep in mind that the OCSS can only deal with subjects related to child support. Issues regarding child custody, visitation or the division of property in a divorce cannot be handled by the OCSS.

It is also important for parents to know that the OCSS does not provide parents with legal advice. Similarly, the OCSS cannot provide custodial parents with a private investigator, even of the custodial parent believes the noncustodial parent has not been truthful in disclosing all of his or her income.

Furthermore, the OCSS can only provide help to parents. It cannot provide help directly to children who are seeking child support on their own. Nonetheless, the OCSS can help the child if the child's custodian or guardian seeks help on the child's behalf.

The OCSS also cannot alter any part of a currently existing order of the court for child support. Only a judge may make a support modification. Moreover, the OCSS cannot provide assistance to a parent who is seeking to establish a spousal support order or modify one. The OCSS will provide enforcement of such an order, if the enforcement is related to making a collection on an existing order for child support. In addition, the OCSS does not handle court orders regarding the child's tuition. Finally, the OCSS will only be able to provide enforcement for child support orders that are set at standard dollar amount, rather than those that are set as an income percentage.

Rhode Island parents who are seeking to establish, collect on or enforce a child support order should have a good grasp on the role the Office of Child Support Services will have in all these endeavors. If a parent needs further information about how the OCSS may help them, it may be useful to discuss the matter with a Rhode Island divorce attorney as this post is for general informational purposes only.

Source:, "Services Not Available," accessed on July 26, 2015

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