Ware, MA asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts

Q: How long does a judge have to sign and file a judgement after a child support hearing in Massachusetts?

My court hearing for child support was 27 days ago yet I still haven’t received the judgement in the mail, neither have the courts or DOR.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
  • Worcester, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: It depends on the type of hearing. If it was a divorce trial where child support was just one of many issues, it would take a few (or more) months. If it was a hearing where DOR was seeking support on the other parent's behalf, it should be much quicker. It also depends on the county you are in and if there is a backlog of orders/judgments to be processed, and some counties have staffing issues that may cause delays. Once in a while an order is issued but never sent out in error, but in my experience that doesn't happen very often.

I would suggest contacting the Register's office, or better yet, go there in person and ask to review the file. If they can't locate it, it is probably with the judge and you may need to ask their sessions clerk (in the courtroom). The Register's office should be able to point you in the right direction though.

As a word of caution - you should set aside the estimated child support amount as if it was already ordered. If the judge issued the order but it hasn't been sent out yet (or was never sent out), you will most likely be responsible for all payments beginning from the date of the judgment even though you never received it (and maybe retroactive payments if that was an issue in your case).

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