Rhode Island child support statistics

This RI child support article was authored by a RI child support lawyer. In Rhode Island, non-custodial parents have a legal requirement to pay child support on a regular basis. When payment is not made, the non-custodial parent is subject to strict enforcement measures that follow the child support laws of both Rhode Island and the federal government. The Rhode Island Child Support Agency Program enforces the payment of court ordered child support.

More info about RI Child support:

Rhode Island child support lawyer, David Slepkow

Child support in RI

RI child support

The state determines the amount of child support payments based on an “income shares model.” This model uses the philosophy that every child is entitled to enjoy a standard of living at a level directly related to the monthly income of both parents. The court system calculates a non-custodial monthly child support payment based on both parents’ weekly gross income before any deductions including taxes.  The Court will allow a mandatory deduction to account for additional dependent children, existing child support orders for other children as well as medical insurance costs. At times, the court will consider certain discretionary deductions.

RI child support enforcement

More than 120 staff members working for the state agency handle an average of 60,000 child support cases. When the non-custodial parent fails to make payments in a timely manner, the agency follows strict enforcement guidelines to collect past-due payments using a variety of methods including:

  • Suspending the licenses of the non-custodial parent including their driver’s license along with occupational, business or professional licenses
    • Suspension of vehicle registrations on their cars, trucks, airplanes and boats
    • Interception of any insurance proceeds
    • Interception of federal and state tax refunds
    • Interception of any lottery winnings
    • Garnishments (income withholding from paychecks)
    • Denial of a passport application
    • Restraining order
    • State criminal prosecution
    • Reporting payments in arrears to credit bureaus
    • Lien placement on real estate and personal property
    • Contempt of court charge that may involve jail time


The state charges 12 percent annual interest on any late child support payment. Often, the non-custodial parent will push back against the court system and custodial parent when ordered visitation rights are unacceptable. However, visitation rights and child support payments are separate issues under the law. Likewise, the child must be made available for visitations with the non-custodial parent even if payments are in arrears. If the case is on the reciprocal calendar, the Court is not permitted to deal with peripheral issues such as child visitation and enforcement of divorce orders. If other unrelated issues arise  such as visitation, physical placement or legal custody, the reciprocal Court Magistrate will send the matter to another RI Family Court calendar.

Modifying a RI order

In accordance with Rhode Island child support laws, either parent has the right to request a modification to their child’s support order. However, the judge/magistrate must be shown a substantial change in the parent’s circumstances. The non-custodial parent can file a Motion for Relief to reduce or end the child-support order. The parent will need to present their case in front of a judge or magistrate on their own or through legal counsel.

Payments are a safety net

According to RI Kids Count, as of 2013, nearly 51 percent of all non-custodial parents who have a court order to pay child support make their payments in full and on time. WPRI   Timely payments provide a safety net for the family and offer non-custodial parents a mechanism for contributing to the support of their children. “According to RI Kids Count, as of December 1, 2013, there were 83,019 children in Rhode Island’s Office of Child Support Services system.” Id.

Economic status of children

When families receive payments on a timely manner, the funds can significantly enhance the economic status of children living apart from a non-resident parent. In addition, the funds minimize the family’s likelihood of requiring cash assistance from government agencies and outside programs. Full payments usually create a positive effect on the academic achievement of the child. RI Kids Count stated: “In 2013, the Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services collected $90.6 million in child support, an increase of $2.4 million over the previous year. Collections go toward both child support and medical support. Eighty-five percent ($77 million) of the funds collected were distributed directly to families and the remainder was retained by the state and federal governments as reimbursement for RI Works (cash assistance), RITE Care health coverage, and other expenses.” Kids Count 

Rhode Island Child Support lawyer

If you need of legal assistance, please contact Rhode Island Child Support lawyer David Slepkow. Child support  RI Attorney, David Slepkow, offers free initial consults. Please see this informative article about child support statistics in Rhode Island: http://www.rikidscount.org/matriarch/documents/Ind11.pdf

Also see:  Rhode Island Child Support Contempt in RI Family Court: “If a person violates a Rhode Island Family Court order by not paying child support, the parent with physical custody may file a motion to hold that person in contempt for failure to pay child support. A person accused of not paying child support has a right to a hearing. The obligor parent has the right to proper notice under the Rhode Island Family Court Rules.”https://rhodeislanddivorcelawyerarticles.com/rhode-island-child-support-contempt-in-ri-family-court/

Also see, RHODE ISLAND CHILD SUPPORT FROM A-Z This article, written by a Rhode Island Family and Divorce law lawyer, David Slepkow, explains in detail the following Rhode Island Child support Issues: Establishing, modifying, terminating, enforcing, contempt, college, daycare, overtime as well as an explanation of the RI support guidelines!!  https://www.slepkowlaw.com/child-support-lawyer.htm