Child Support in Massachusetts

After a court comes to a conclusion on child custody, another matter is introduced. In the state of Massachusetts, parents are required to support their children financially. Even though one parent maintains physical custody, the cost a child is too much for a parent to handle alone. Because of this, is required the non-custodial parent still pays the cost of child care to the custodial parent.

In 2013, the state established the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. They were created to assist attorneys in determining what payment should be expected of the non-custodial parent. In creating the guidelines, several things were taken into consideration:

  • Consistency in determining child support at all income levels
  • Lessening the economic impact to the child
  • Promotion both parental obligations according to income
  • Meeting financial needs of a parent who has low income
  • Meeting the child’s needs
  • Contributions that are both financial and not financial
  • The cost of health insurance for the child
  • Recognizing the importance of modifications

Factors in Child Support Decisions

With the help of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, courts are able to come to a conclusion on what a parent owes in child support. Like any decision made, there are several factors that influence a verdict. According to the state, the guidelines acknowledge the following:

  • The cost of a child’s care
  • A parent’s source(s) of income
  • The earning capacity of each parent
  • Cost of health insurance
  • Amount of children
  • Custody arrangements
  • Expenses relating to the child

When do you stop paying child support?

In Massachusetts, a parent has to pay child support until a certain age. In some cases, that age may vary depending on child. Typically, child support is assumed to end when a child turns 18 years old. This is not always the case as some children seek higher education, which requires additional expenses for schooling. In event of this, a court may extend child support payments until the age of 23. If you are a non-custodial parent who believes that your child no longer needs support payments, it is possible to request the court assess the child’s emancipation.


If you or a family member is seeking representation for a child support case, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today.

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.