Why it is important to hire a lawyer who understands Child Support law in Massachusetts
It is important to understand what your rights and financial obligations are to your children. Our office can assist you in navigating the Courts in this process and determining what options are available to you. To help you consider this important issue we have summarized some information that is helpful to consider.
When a child has parents who are unmarried or separated, it’s important that the child’s life be financially impacted as little as possible. Child support was established to help equalize the environments that impact a child whose parents are no longer a couple. The purpose of child support is to help provide food, clothing and shelter for the child no matter where the child lives and is determined primarily through the “Massachusetts Child Support Guideline” calculations. The calculation is based on the gross or pre-tax income of each party and only medical insurance costs, child care costs and child support obligations to another child are allowed to be deducted from that gross total. Taxes, rent/mortgage, car payments, and other financial liabilities are not factored in at the time of the initial calculation.
A variety of financial factors are taken into consideration the official child support guidelines are utilized by the Court in issuing an order of child support. That being said, there are circumstances that may allow for a deviation from the child support guideline calculation as well as the possibility or the parties working to reach an agreement on child support that deviates from the child support guidelines. This deviation could mean seeking to receive a greater child support payment than is listed in the guidelines or working to obtain approval of a lower child support payment than is listed in the guidelines. If an agreement to deviate from the child support guideline calculations cannot be reached, it is also possible to request the Court’s approval of a deviation from the child support guidelines under certain circumstances.
Being unemployed or receiving social security income do not automatically excuse a parent from paying child support. Further, all biological parents have a responsibility to provide financial support regardless of their marital status. It is also possible to request an adjustment of a child support order to increase, decrease, or stop a child support order if there has been a material change in circumstances since the child support order was issued. Finally, there is also an ability to pursue an adjustment of a child support order if more than 3 years have passed since the entry of that order.
When choosing a lawyer, experience matters
At Cohen Cleary, P.C. we have extensive experience representing clients in matters involving child support. We will advocate on your behalf to ensure that all the proper procedures are followed in your case. We will zealously fight for your goals whether that means working to obtain an order for child support, to increase a child support order, decrease a child support order, or seek to terminate a child support order. Please contact our Plymouth or Taunton area office as soon as possible to discuss your case and how we can help you to achieve your goals regarding child support. Call (508) 880-6677
Authored by Janna Saad, Esq