Paternity / Child Support / DOR


What Does Paternity Mean?

Paternity means legally establishing who the father of a child is. In some cases, establishing paternity will be straightforward. In others, it will be more complicated. It will all depend on your situation. If you were never married to your child's father and you want to get regular child support from him, you may need to establish paternity at the same time that you file court documents seeking child support.

 Why Do You Need to Establish Paternity?

Establishing paternity is what creates a legal connection between a child's father and the child. The paternity of a child can be established by the voluntary signing of an acknowledgment of paternity by both the mother and father or by a finding by the court, in response to a Complaint to Establish Paternity, that a certain man is the father of a certain child.

If asked to establish paternity, the Court may order the parties to submit to blood or genetic testing. This is done by means of a buccal swab (a swab of the inner lining of the cheek) on site in every Court which has the Department of Revenue block time.

After paternity is established, the Court may enter a child support/or visitation order which can be enforced and/or modified. Parties to a paternity case may see the file with the presentation of proper identification.

 Answering Important Paternity Questions

Two information guides are available to assist you through the paternity legal process and frequently asked questions such as:

The first Informational guide is the Paternity Guide. Click here to download

The second is Information About How to Establish Paternity and you can find this from the Massachusetts Legal Help Center.


 Please click on the link below and go to forms for actions invovlving unwed parents.


Child Support /DOR

Child support and visitation are vital to the economic and emotional well being of children. This section is intended to make it easier to obtain the necessary information and resources to navigate these family matters. Our information center also provides forms and assistance with separate support, divorce, modification and contempt matters.

Child Support Guidelines -  

Child Support Enforcement -

Answers to General Questions about D.O.R.Child Support and Paternity Services -

D.O.R. Application - The Department of Revenue can assist in the collection of child support payments. 

Understanding Custody and Visitation -