Child support is often one of the most hotly-contested divorce issues. While many former spouses breathe a sigh of relief when their divorce is finalized, the fact of the matter is, life changes. This is why many parents will request a change in child support obligations to better reflect a significant change in their own life or financial situation. If you are someone who believes their child support agreement warrants a modification, here are some of the questions you may have regarding the legal process going forward:
How will the courts determine child support terms in Massachusetts?
Child support is in place to ensure your child’s standard of living is unaffected, or minimally affected, by your divorce. If you are someone who believes you either need more financial assistance, or you believe your spouse no longer needs as much financial assistance, the courts will consider several factors before making a decision. Some of the most commonly-examined factors are as follows:
- Your marital status
- Whether either you or your former spouse has significant medical bills
- Whether your child is attending college or pursuing a higher education
- Your child’s age
- Whether you have sole or physical custody of your child
- Whether you have more than six children to support
- You and your former spouse’s yearly gross income
- Whether you or your former spouse has recently experienced an increase or decrease in yearly income
- Whether there is recently been a change in the federal income tax law.
How do I modify child support terms?
To modify the terms of your child support, you will first have to file a complaint for modification. From here, a judge will listen to both parents’ opinions regarding the change, and will then review all financial statements and child support guidelines. If the judge determines your request is valid, he or she will allow an adjustment to be made.
When does child support end?
In Massachusetts, child support can end as soon as the child reaches 18 years of age. However, there are several exceptions. For example, if your child is pursuing higher education, the court may extend a child support obligation until your child turns 23 years old.
Contact our experienced Massachusetts firm
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. We recognize the impact a divorce can have on the lives of you or your children, which is why our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.