If you and your child’s parent are not married and have decided to split up, you may be wondering how child support and child custody will work. Massachusetts has a system in place in order to make these arrangements. In order to determine child support, you must first establish paternity and arrange custody. Read on to learn more about the process in Massachusetts.
If you and your child’s other parent are not married, you will first have to establish paternity. Establishing paternity gives your child important rights he or she would not otherwise have. These rights include:
- Financial support to help meet your child’s needs
- Access to the father’s medical history in the case of illness or disease
- Access to the father’s benefits such as
- Social Security, pensions, health insurance, inheritance
Additionally, this will give the father rights when it comes to their child, including visitation.
Once paternity has been established, you will have to determine custody. In order to determine a custody arrangement, a Massachusetts court will consider the following:
- Age and developmental stage of the child
- The individual needs of the child
- History of the relationship between the parents
- How close parents live to each other
- Parents’ work schedule
- Parents’ problems such as
- Substance abuse
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- A criminal record
Determining Child Support
Child custody plays a large role in determining your child support arrangement. Once custody has been established, the courts will take the following into account in order to determine child support:
- The cost of child care
- The cost of the child’s health insurance
- The number of children in your household
- Your child custody arrangement
- Child-related expenses
- Sources of income
- Each party’s earning capacity
If you have any questions or concerns regarding child support for unmarried parents in Massachusetts, contact our firm today. We are here to advocate for you and walk you through all of your family law matters.
Contact our Firm
For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.