Child Support Counsel in Massachusetts: Your Guide to Navigating Child Support

The ins and outs of child support in Massachusetts can seem overwhelming, especially during the emotional process of a divorce or separation. At Reade Law Firm, PC, we’re committed to guiding you forward, ensuring your children’s needs are met while respecting your financial capabilities. To address one of the biggest areas of concern, let’s look at what you need to know about child support in Massachusetts, breaking down the complexities into understandable pieces.

The Basics of Child Support in Massachusetts

Child support is a financial obligation that a non-custodial parent owes to the custodial parent, aiming to cover a portion of the child’s living expenses. In Massachusetts, the calculation and enforcement of child support are governed by the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, designed with the child’s best interests in mind. These guidelines consider various factors to ensure that the child support amount is fair and adequate, including:

  • Both Parents’ Incomes from all sources, such as wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and earnings from self-employment. If the court finds that a parent is deliberately underemployed, it may consider what that parent should be making rather than actual income.
  • Number of Children requiring support. The amount of child support typically increases with the number of children being supported.
  • Health Insurance Costs, including health and dental insurance premiums 
  • Childcare Expenses necessary for a parent to work or receive education for work.
  • Child support for other children, if the child support payor pays prior orders for children of other relationships, those payments may effect the calculation

Determining Child Support Payments

The calculation of child support payments can be complicated. It considers the gross income of both parents, including wages, salaries, commissions, and even bonuses. Deductions for mandatory expenses like taxes and retirement contributions are considered as well. However, the court can adjust the support order based on several factors, including the children’s needs, the custodial parent’s requirements, and the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay. We help you understand this calculation and present evidence regarding factors in your favor, ensuring the outcome is fair and equitable for everyone involved.

Modifications and Enforcement

Life is unpredictable, and financial situations can change. Whether it’s a job loss, a significant increase in income, or a change in the child’s needs, child support orders can be modified to reflect these new circumstances. However, modifications require proving that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was issued. 

If payments are not being made, enforcement options are available. We guide you through the legal process, whether you’re seeking a modification, trying to show why the modification is inappropriate, or needing assistance enforcing an existing order.

Intent of Child Support Guidelines

The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines aim to:

  • Ensure Fairness: The guidelines are designed to make child support payments fair by considering the financial circumstances of both parents. This ensures that the child support order reflects what the non-custodial parent can afford while considering the child’s needs.
  • Preserve the Child’s Standard of Living: The goal is to provide the child with a standard of living that, as closely as possible, resembles what they would have enjoyed had the family remained intact.
  • Provide Consistency and Predictability: The guidelines offer a degree of predictability for both parents by adhering to a standardized formula. This can help reduce conflicts and disputes regarding financial support.
  • Meet the Child’s Needs: The guidelines are in place to ensure that the child’s financial needs are met. This includes basic necessities such as food, clothing, housing, education, and healthcare.

The Role of a Child Support Lawyer

Having a knowledgeable lawyer by your side can make a significant difference in navigating the child support process. From accurately calculating the child support obligations to representing your interests in court, we’re here to ensure that the child support order is fair and just. We also offer counsel on how to approach modifications and enforcement, providing a comprehensive support system throughout this process.

Support Beyond the Legalities

At Reade Law Firm, PC, we understand that the welfare of your children is your top priority, and navigating child support is a crucial part of ensuring their well-being. Beyond the legal aspects, we offer guidance and support to help you manage transitions, focusing on your family’s future well-being. 

Let the knowledgeable team at Reade Law Firm, PC empower you to find your best way forward. We help you achieve the objectives that mean the most to you while preserving your peace of mind. Whether you’re initiating a child support case, need to modify an existing order, or require assistance with enforcement, we’re here to provide the support and guidance you need. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation. We’re more than just your legal advisors; we’re your partners in building a positive future. Contact us online or call us at (978) 767-8383. We’re happy to help.