Child support is intended to assist the custodial parent in paying for all child related expenses, including food, shelter, clothes, and activities.
Child Support is paid for all children under 18. It may be extended until age 23 so long as the child is a full time student. Child support is intended to assist the custodial parent in paying for all child related expenses, including food, shelter, clothes, and activities. In some instances a parent may also choose or be ordered to pay additional support so that the child might participate in extracurricular activities. In most circumstances child support is paid by wage assignment through the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). The DOR then tracks the payments, monitors arrears, and in some cases enforces payment by seizure of tax refunds or other means. Child support is not tax deductible by the party paying the support, and need not be declared as income by the party receiving the support.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay
The calculation of child support is generally governed by the Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines were enacted in 1987, and are revised by the Court every few years. They are intended to provide consistency and predictability in support payments. The guidelines govern all cases with a combined gross family income of less than $250,000. Child support for families with combined earnings in excess of $250,000 are handled on a case by case basis.
Among the factors considered in calculating support are: the parents’ incomes; health insurance expenses; and day care costs. Judges are generally required to order support consistent with the guidelines.
Child support is generally based upon total income from both base salary and from bonus or overtime. It can also sometimes include income earned from a second job. Income may also be imputed to a party where the court concludes that the party is capable of working but is intentionally unemployed or underemployed.
The base guidelines are intended to apply where the children have a primary residence with one parent, and spend approximately 1/3 of their time with the other parent. The guideline amount may be adjusted upwards or downwards when the children’s parental time deviates substantially from this norm.