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Posts Tagged child support Massachusetts

When Can a Parent Receive a Retroactive Credit on Child Support?

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The New 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines: What’s New? What’s the Same?

Child Support Massachusetts, Child Support Mass., Child Support Suffolk County, Child Support Middlesex County, Child Support Essex County, Child Support Norfolk County, Child Support Boston, Child Support Winthrop, Child Support East Boston, Child Support Revere, Child Support Danvers, Child Support Lynnfield, Child Support Marblehead, Child Support Swampscott, Child Support Nahant, Child Support Peabody, Child Support Salem, Child Support Saugus, Child Support Arlington, Child Support Belmont, Child Support Burlington, Child Support Cambridge, Child Support Everett, Child Support Malden, Child Support Medford, Child Support Melrose, Child Support North Reading, Child Support Reading, Child Support Somerville, Child Support Stoneham, Child Support Wakefield, Child Support Watertown, Child Support Wilmington, Child Support Winchester, Child Support Woburn, Child Support Brookline, Child Support Braintree, Child Support Milton, Child Support Quincy, Child Support ChelseaThe Trial Court of Massachusetts issued new Child Support Guidelines, which took effect last week on September 15th. There are many changes to the new Guidelines, but also a lot of things stayed the same. This article will explain the changes to the new Guidelines, but what also stayed the same compared to the 2013 Child Support … Read More »



How to Calculate Your Child Support

Under Massachusetts law, parents who are divorced or separated must continue to support their children. In Massachusetts, a parent’s child support obligation is calculated based upon the Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support Guidelines are a set of rules that dictate how to calculate a parent’s child support obligation, and what income must be included in the calculation of child support.

The Child Support Guidelines often compare the respective financial circumstances of each parent and also look at the standard of living the child(ren) enjoyed while the parents were still married. In calculating child support, the court considers all sources of income, including salaries, wages, overtime, bonus, income from self-employment, commissions, interest and dividends, disability benefits, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, and many other sources. The court may even impute income to a parent, if the court believes that the parent is not working or earning income to his or her fullest ability.

A parent’s child support obligation is calculated by adding the combined gross incomes of the recipient parent and the payor parent, less any child care, health insurance, dental and vision insurance, … Read More »



Streamlining the Child Support Modification Process in Massachusetts

Child Support letters with gavel and cash

In May 2013, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court expanded Standing Order 3-11, which streamlines the child support modification process in Massachusetts. Through this Standing Order, parents can now complete more user-friendly forms to file for a child support modification with the Probate and Family Court, and also obtain a faster court date to obtain some relief.

This project was originally initiated in 2011 in Bristol County through a federal grant. The project used Bristol County as a test county for the streamlined process. The Probate and Family Court worked together with the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division to test this program.

As part of the pilot project, the Probate and Family Court and DOR developed a one-page form that contained the Complaint for Modification as well as the Motion for Temporary Orders. This form is more user-friendly than the standard court forms. In addition to the more user-friendly forms, litigants are allowed to complete service of the summons and complaint by first class mail, rather than service by a sheriff or constable. … Read More »



Paternity Issues in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, if a child is born out of wedlock, the child’s biological father is not deemed to be the child’s legal father, unless paternity is established. Establishing paternity is important for many reasons, and can be done in multiple ways.

The easiest way to establish paternity is when the child is born, the child’s biological father may sign a form known as an acknowledgement of paternity, in which he states and acknowledges that he is the father of the child. In this case, when the form is properly signed, the father’s name will then appear on the child’s birth certificate, and then the father is legally deemed to be the father of the child.

Another way to establish paternity is by a court order. Either the mother or the father may file a Complaint to Establish Paternity with the Probate and Family Court. Here, this is a formal legal case that is heard by a judge of the Probate and Family Court. Typically once a Complaint for Paternity is filed by either parent, then the court will order DNA testing for … Read More »



New Child Support Guidelines in Massachusetts

On June 20, 2013, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court released new Child Support Guidelines that become effective August 1, 2013. The new Child Support Guidelines revise the Guidelines issued in 2009, and modify several provisions from the 2009 Guidelines. Below is a summary of the changes to the new Child Support Guidelines.

Sources of Income

In the new Guidelines, the Probate and Family Court specifically excludes any income derived from means-tested public assistance programs, like TAFDC, SNAP, and SSI, from computation of child support obligations. Additionally, the Guidelines now explicitly state that the Court may consider none, some, or all overtime income even if overtime was earned prior to entry of a child support order. However, in all cases, where parents’ combined available income is over $250,000, the Guidelines should be applied on the first $250,000 in the same proportion as the Recipient’s and Payor’s actual income as provided on line 1h of the child support guidelines worksheet.

Attribution of Income

In the previous Guidelines, the Court had the authority to attribute income to a parent. Now the Court has clarified … Read More »



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