Child Support

Child Support

The Massachusetts Family Courts consider numerous factors when determining Child Custody and Child Support.

At MLO, Attorney Rose Ellen McCaig is well versed in these factors and she assists can assist you in evaluating your particular circumstances and help you to seek the best Child Custody and Child Support resolution for you and your children. This can be done in Mediation, in negotiations with the other parent and his or her attorney, or through litigation at various stages –some cases can resolve after one Temporary Order Hearing, others after a Pre-Trial Conference, and some proceed to a Trial in the Massachusetts Probate + Family Court .

Child Support is based upon the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The
Massachusetts Child Support Guideline factors are made into a worksheet that uses a formula that takes into consideration the income of both parents, the number of children, the cost of health, dental and vision insurance and daycare.

However, a great deal more goes into the calculation. Therefore, while reviewing the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Worksheetplease remember, this tool is only a starting point.

You are best served by taking a look but then making an appointment with Rose Ellen. She can apply the formula and a host of other factors to your individual situation. That advice applies whether you are doing divorce planning, seeking a divorce, gave a change of circumstances that affect your current Child Support order, or are in a position of filing or defending Contempt for failure to pay Child Support.

It is especially important for high earners to understand the intricacies and arguments surrounding child support orders.

The 2013 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines

Starting August 1, 2013, the Revised Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines went into effect. The Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court appointed a Task Force that every four years conducts a review of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The most recent review of the Child Support Guidelines set forth both minor and major changes.

If you are seeking a Divorce in Massachusetts, or if you have an existing Divorce Judgment or Child Support provisions are included in your Divorce Agreement, it benefits you to be aware of these the current Child Support Guidelines and those provisions that are different from the 2009 version of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.

You may be either seeking or defending a Modification of your existing Child Support. At MLO, Rose Ellen McCaig, an experienced Divorce and Family Law attorney, will guide you through these changes.

In a confidential and informative consultation, Rose Ellen will explain how the Child Support reform laws in Massachusetts apply to your particular situation –and how they could affect you. As always, Rose Ellen will approach you with extensive knowledge, experience and empathy.
The changes to the Child Support Guidelines may or may not apply to your situation –but in order to remain knowledgeable about your obligations or about the support you are entitled to receive for your children Rose Ellen encourages you to familiarize yourself with the revised Child Support Guidelines, which include but are not limited to:

  • When determining income through the means test, certain benefits such as SSI, TAFDC or SNAP are not included in this calculation.
  • Additional clarification has been provided for parents with combined incomes that exceed $250,000.
  • Additional clarification has been provided for children over 18 and post-secondary education needs.
  • Extraordinary child health insurance costs can be considered a situation that justifies a deviation from the standard Child Support Guidelines.
  • The court will consider Modifications to the Child Support Guidelines when the noncustodial parent’s parenting time is between 33% and 50%.
  • Modification standards have been clarified by the recent State Supreme Court case Morales vs. Morales.

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