Is it Possible to Deviate or not follow the Child Support Guidelines?
In Massachusetts the Judge is permitted to deviate; which means not follow the Child Support Guidelines and it can be either higher or lower from the guideline amount. In certain circumstances, if it is plus or minus 2% points the Judge is supposed to make a finding about why he/she is deviating from the guidelines.
How does Child Care Costs get Factored into Child Support?
There are a variety of ways that child care cost can be divided between the parents. However, if they are not divided or even if they are, the child support guidelines or worksheet factors in, not a one-to-one ratio, but does factor in the out-of-pocket cost for daycare and some other child care costs.
Does Filing for Bankruptcy allow me to Modify my Child Support Obligation?
Generally, the answer is no. The bankruptcy in of itself would not necessarily allow you to modify the child support circumstances. However, the circumstances for the Bankruptcy; particularly if you are laid off, or your job changes for one reason or another maybe enough to file a Modification. In addition, even if it is not something that necessarily changes the child support worksheet amount, you could at times request a deviation from the child support guidelines. Again, depending on the circumstances of the Bankruptcy, but the filing of the Bankruptcy itself does not get rid of or automatically reduce child support.
Can the Court Base its Child Support Order on What I am able to Earn as opposed to what I am Earning?
The answer is the Judge can examine the parent’s ability to earn as well as what they are earning and can order discrepancy and impute income if they determine that the child support obligation should be hire based on things such as leaving a current job voluntarily; taking a job with a lower pay. These are different factors. In addition, sometimes even if you are laid off or fired the Court can attach job orders. At times the Court can presume certain incomes for a party that is not working or is working in a job that pays less than the person historically made. Particularly, if it appears that the person has done that voluntarily.