How can child support be modified?

Child Support

Child support is calculated by using the formula contained in the Massachusetts child support guidelines. The child support guidelines take into consideration the gross income of each party. The gross income is the income that a party gets before taxes or any other deductions are taken out, the cost of day-care and who is paying for daycare, the cost of health insurance and dental and who is paying for health insurance and dental, the number of children involved and the amount of time the payer parent spends with the child.

Modifications to Child Support

Any time that child support is changed to be reinforceable, it must be done by a modification to the previous agreement, whether that be a separation agreement, or a divorce agreement, or a previous modification agreement. For child support to be binding and enforceable, it must be approved by the court. So, in cases where income goes up and down, it could get recomputed. If there was a huge variation, you could go back to court. Although the rule now is that you cannot go back to court for 3 years. So, that has to be something that is factored in, as to why the income is fluctuating. This is where a percentage of the bonus or commission might become payable if somebody gets a surprise commission or bonus. But the guidelines are designed so that it provides a stable amount that the payer knows they have to pay and the recipient knows that they will receive. It generally does not vary from month-to-month, although you may put something like that into an agreement in order to be fair to both parties.