Medway or Burlington Office Location
Child support in Massachusetts underwent substantial changes in 2009 with new child support guidelines going into effect on January 1, 2009. The new Massachusetts child support guidelines worksheet can be found here.
The current Massachusetts child support guidelines cover parents with combined gross incomes up to $250,000.00. The Guidelines consider several factors, including both parents’ incomes and ability to earn income, the number of children involved, and the cost of health care coverage and childcare. Only the court can change or modify the amount of a Massachusetts child support order, but either parent may request a modification of the order if the order is at least three years old regardless of whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances, or if the order is less than three years old and either parent’s income substantially changes; the child’s custody changes; or significant changes to the family’s health insurance coverage occur.
Although the duty of parental support is a common law principle, both federal and Massachusetts statutes address child support. Child support may be awarded in a number of contexts besides a final divorce judgment, including an action for separate support, as part of temporary orders during a divorce case, as part of a guardianship petition, a paternity action, or as part of an abuse prevention order under Mass. Gen. Laws c. 209A. Additionally, child support can be ordered as part of an interstate child support action.
Generally, the parent that is the primary physical custodian of the child would receive support from the other parent. More and more couples are sharing the parenting duties equally, and the new Massachusetts child support guidelines address this situation.
Massachusetts Child Support Enforcement
There are a number of enforcement options available when a parent is not paying their court-ordered child support, as well as services available through the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Enforcement options include income and tax refund withholding, placing liens upon or seizing property, revoking driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registration plates, and interception of insurance claims.
If you have a Massachusetts child support modification or contempt case, or an interstate child support enforcement issue, it is best not to wait too long before seeing an attorney. Do not underestimate the complexity of your child support matter, and there can be a daunting maze of procedural rules involved as well.
Contact our Massachusetts child support lawyers serving Medway, Medfield, Millis, Bedford, Concord, Lexington, Norfolk, Walpole, Wrentham, Plainville, Holliston, Franklin, Billerica, Bellingham, Foxboro, Milford, Weston, Wayland, Wellesley, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Worcester, Shrewsbury, and Westborough Massachusetts areas.
The Divorce Collaborative is conveniently located in Medway and Burlington, Massachusetts. Call (508) 346-3805 to schedule your private consultation.