What is Child Support intended to Cover?    

In Massachusetts child support is intended to cover the child’s basic living necessities and expenses; which includes things such as food; shelter; clothing; academic expenses; necessary medical costs and reasonable recreation expenses.

How is the Amount of Child Support Calculated?

Massachusetts has a Child Support Guidelines worksheet that includes: how many children there are; if any of the children are over 18; what the gross income is for the parent who has custody; what is the gross income for the parent that does not have custody.  There is also a Child Support Guideline formula for joint physical custody.

The out-of-pocket expense is for dental; health and vision insurance; any daycare cost associated.  If there are any prior child support court ordered child support orders and there is a formula that again the courts can deviate from, but it is standard in Massachusetts.

How is Child Support Collected?

The person receiving child support can collect child support in a couple of different ways.  One of them is DOR (Department of Revenue) can collect it directly from the other parents pay. Second, there can be a suspended wage assignment; which means that DOR does not collect it directly.  Third, there can be an electronic payment through a bank check; which sometimes is a good solution rather than having DOR involve or one parent paying the other parent check or cash each week.

Can the Amount of Child Support be changed or modified?

Yes.  Either parent may file a “Child Support Modification” with the court.  You can show that there is a material change and present information regarding why there should be an adjustment or modification. There needs to be a legitimate reason as why it should be changed, and one parent can seek that it be higher, and one parent seek that it be lower. For Example: if a parent has changed employment; lost a job or got a higher paying job, those are examples of why child support can go up or down.