General Information Regarding Child Support
Generally speaking the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. Child support is calculated by taking into account both parties gross weekly income, the number of children, and giving credits to the parent who pays health insurance and/or child care costs.
You can calculate child support by using the following worksheet: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/forms/probate-and-family/cjd304-worksheet-child-support-guidelines.pdf.
Before going to court you should use the above worksheet and print the results to bring with you.
In addition to child support the court may order each parent to pay a percentage of the costs for extra-curricular activities, uninsured medical expenses, summer camp, and educational costs.
Joint Custody/Co-Parenting Situations
More and more frequently parents are sharing custody and are working together to co-parent. In this situation the child support calculation is a little more complicated. Using the above referenced worksheet, child support is first calculated with Parent 1 paying Parent 2. The child support calculation is then run again with Parent 2 paying Parent 1. The difference of the two calculations is the amount in child support the higher earning parent pays the lower earning parent.
Deviating From The Child Support Guidelines
In some circumstances the parties may agree to deviate from the child support guideline amount. In these circumstances it is necessary to get permission from the court to do so and there must be a reason for it.
Modifying Child Support
The amount of child support being paid is always subject to modification if there is a substantial change in circumstance or if the amount of child support being paid is no longer consistent with the amount under the Child Support Guidelines.
If you have questions about child support or other family law related issues, please do not hesitate to contact Levine-Piro Law for a free consultation. 978-637-2048.