In any support situation, it seems the support is always too much for the person paying, and never enough for the person receiving it. With child support in Massachusetts, the payments are formulaic. The Child Support Guidelines were revised a year ago, and here is an update on the revisions.
In most cases if there are children who fall under the guidelines (generally under 18 if not in school and up to age 23 if in college), the parent with whom the kids are living should be receiving at least some support from the other parent even before the parties hit the court system. The guidelines make it easy to determine the amount, but even with a formula there can be disagreements and the recipient may need to ask the court to intervene.
Commonly, child support is paid on the same calendar as the one used to calculate and receive your pay check. The calculation is weekly, so if you are going to be paying monthly remember there are 4.3 weeks in a month; consequently, a $100 per week order results in a $430 per month payment.
If possible, it is best to have the support paid either via payroll deduction, or direct deposit. That way no one needs to remember to do it, or to nag when it doesn’t get done. NEVER, EVER have the payments delivered via the kids (and do NOT, as one person in my experience did, write “Blood money for the Bitch” on the memo line on the check)!
The person who pays child support also pays the taxes on it. This usually means that in the final agreement, there can be some consideration of this in the allocation of the dependency exemptions.