Parenting Time & Child Support in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, both parents have a duty to support any child or children born from their relationship.  In many cases, it may be the non-custodial parent who makes child support payments to the custodial parent.  By definition, the non-custodial parent is the parent who lives outside the child’s primary residence, while the custodial parent is the parent who is the primary caretaker of the child.

In most instances, child support payments should be made by the non0custodial parent to the custodial parent, in order to ensure their child(ren) have all basic needs fulfilled.  As it relates to the custodial parent, he/she is assumed to already contribute their portion of support directly on the child since the child in primarily in their care and lives in their residence.

Factors That May Determine Child Support

There is much to consider when determining the child support amount due by a paying parent to the custodial parent.  In order to figure out an appropriate payment amount, judges in Massachusetts may consider factors like income of each parent, time spent with each parent, and/or if there are other children to support.  The goal should be to reach a support amount that will meet the child’s needs, as well ensures that both parents care for the children.  Judges may use their discretion when calculating support orders.  They can weigh a number of factors in making their decision.

How Does Parenting Time Calculate into the Child Support Obligation?

The amount of time a child spends with the parent who pays child support, may dictate how much child support he/she should pay.  In the state of Massachusetts, the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet assumes that a child spends 1/3 of their time with the paying parent.  If a child spends less than 1/3 of their time with the paying parent, a Massachusetts judge may require that the parent pay more.  Conversely, if a child spends more than 1/3 of their time with the paying parent, a judge could deem it appropriate to lessen the child support amount.

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney to help you with your child support matter, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. to schedule your consultation.