How Does Child Support Work in the State of Massachusetts?

If you are getting a divorce and you have children, there is a very good chance you are wondering what will happen with child support. Child support is an issue that will be addressed before the court can pass down a Judgment of Divorce, so it is very important you know how the system works before you begin. If you are the noncustodial parent, there is a very good chance you will pay more towards child support, as your former spouse handle most of your child’s expenses. Here are some of the questions you may have regarding the Massachusetts child support system:

What are the Massachusetts child support guidelines?

When establishing the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines in 2018, the court gave proper consideration to:

  • Promoting parental financial responsibility for children
  • Meeting the child’s survival needs in the first instance, but, to the extent either parent enjoys a higher standard of living, allowing the child to enjoy that higher standard
  • Minimizing negative changes to the child’s standard of living
  • Protecting a basic subsistence level of income of parents
  • Recognizing that deviations should be used when appropriate to tailor a child support order to the unique circumstances of a particular family
  • Recognizing that parents should bear any additional expenses resulting from the maintenance of two separate households
  • Recognizing the non-monetary contributions and involvement of both parents
  • Recognizing the monetary and/or in-kind contributions of both parents in addition to the child support order
  • Recognizing the importance, availability, and cost of health care coverage for the child
  • Promoting simplicity and consistency in establishing and modifying child support orders
  • Streamlining administration and minimizing problems of proof

What are some of the factors that may impact child support?

Several issues are factored in when calculating the terms of your child support. Some of these  are as follows:

  • Number of children
  • Cost of childcare
  • Child-related expenses
  • Sources of incomes
  • Custody arrangement
  • Cost of health insurance for the child
  • Earning capacity of each party

When can I stop paying child support?

Generally, in the state of Massachusetts, child support ends on your son or daughter’s 18th birthday. However, certain additional factors, such as pursuing higher education may lead a court to extend the support obligation to assist with college tuition and other related expenses. Additionally, if you believe your child no longer needs child support, you may request a court’s assessment on the emancipation of a child.

Contact our experienced Bristol County firm

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.