Let Our Experience Be Your Guide
Hingham, MA Child Support Lawyers
Massachusetts child support guidelines exist to provide the children of separated and divorced parents fair and adequate financial support. The guidelines apply, according to the state’s child support guidelines website, “whether the parents of the child are married or unmarried, the order is temporary or final, or the Court is deciding whether to approve an agreement for child support.” In short, child support issues can arise both during and after the divorce or legal separation process.
MA Attorneys Helping You Understand Child Support Guidelines
The guidelines are complex, as they seek to cover as many parental circumstances as possible. For example, if one parent earns much more than the parent with whom a child lives majority of the time, the court may increase the wealthier parent’s payment beyond the recommended amount. Similarly, the court can require parents to pay for post-secondary education for their children. These are just two scenarios that you may encounter when trying to calculate child support. To learn how the guidelines might affect you and your kids, contact the experienced and compassionate child support attorneys at Coastal Divorce and Family Law, LLC. Telephone 781-556-5216 or complete our online contact form.
Factors in Calculating Massachusetts Child Support
A child support order is based on complex calculations that incorporate the costs of education, medical and dental insurance, food, clothing, shelter, extraordinary medical expenses, and travel costs to visit the other parent. An order may also cover items like sports uniforms, music lessons, summer camp, and post-secondary education. Other factors used for calculation of child support amounts include:
- The incomes and standards of living of each parent
- Whether one parent cannot be self-supporting
- Whether one parent has significant wealth in addition to employment income
- Where and for how long a child lives with each parent
- Whether one parent has extraordinary medical expenses
- Whether the child lives with one parent less than a third of the time because of that parent’s health, work, travel schedule or for other reasons
- Whether one parent is incarcerated
If a client suspects the other parent is hiding income to reduce child support costs, our law firm has established relationships with forensic accounting and other financial experts who can determine the true income of that parent. At Coastal Divorce and Family Law, we also help clients modify their child support orders when their circumstances change.
Modifications to MA Child Support Amounts Are Based on Changes in Circumstances
When circumstances change, it may be possible to modify the amount of child support paid or received. Common reasons for seeking a modification of child support amounts include:
- Changes in the cost of health insurance
- Changes in income or wealth of a parent, such as losing a job, obtaining a higher paying job, or selling assets
- Serious illness in either parent or child that affects the ability to pay or increases the cost of medical care
- A parental move that changes the cost of visitation
- A difference between the amount of support being paid and the amount that should be paid under the Commonwealth’s current guidelines
Contact a MA Child Support Lawyer to Learn About Your Options
For answers to questions about Massachusetts child support, contact Coastal Divorce and Family Law, LLC. Our principal attorney has more than 20 years of experience helping clients obtain and modify child support orders in the Commonwealth. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 781-749-7483 or complete our online form.