The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines change on August 1, 2013. I have asked my colleague, Robin Lynch Nardone, to outline the major changes.
There are significant changes, which help fix some of the unclear areas of the old guidelines.
There are several changes from the previous guidelines to note, including:
- The 2013 guidelines calculate each parent’s percentage of total available combined income up to $250,000 per year and a “combined support amount.” This is a new method of looking at support — as a total obligation of both parents.
- The 2013 guidelines clarify what is to occur when the combined income of the parties’ exceeds $250,000 per year. The guidelines are applied on the first $250,000 in the same proportion as the Recipient’s and Payor’s actual income compared to the total combined income. There is now a space on the form to list how much income remains available to either parent above the $250,000 combined total. The child support obligation for the portion of combined available income that exceeds $250,000 is in the discretion of the Court.
- The guidelines themselves now provide that a child support order may be modified if there is
… Keep reading
Massachusetts has again revised its child support guidelines. The new guidelines will come into effect on August 1, 2013.
The new guidelines appear, among other things, to try to clarify how child support will be calculated in high income cases. I will have an analysis of the guidelines up next week, when we have had a chance to really consider them.
In other news, the Supreme Court of the United States just issued an opinion in the Indian child adoption case. This seems eminently sensible in terms of the practical realities. However, I can’t help thinking this child will have been relentlessly bounced from parent to parent.
Also, I am eagerly awaiting the SCOTUS decisions on the gay marriage cases, due out tomorrow. Stay tuned, and stay cool in this heat!
Nancy… Keep reading
I have blogged before about the terrific resource social media is for divorce lawyers. Today, sitting in a courtroom waiting for my case to be called I saw a case that, ironically, highlighted this very importance. Two pro se litigants (lawyer speak for folks in a court case without lawyers) were battling over whether a dad’s child support should continue for an 18 year old daughter. Mom was arguing that the child was living at home and working on her GED degree; however, Dad had been trolling the Internet and had found Facebook and MySpace pages, as well as some other materials where the daughter was telling folks she was working as a “model and an exotic dancer.” He even had pictures of her dancing on a pole (the Judge declined to review the pole picture, wise man), and her posts from those sites where she stated that she was earning $40,000 a year. Dad had also found on craigslist that she was looking for an apartment out of state.… Keep reading
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 … Keep reading
I started out the weekend thinking I wouldn’t have anything to put up today; however, thanks to my fellow bloggers I have some great links!
First, from Taxgirl, a post on child support. I have gotten similar inquiries on my post on child support as well.
Here’s a funny (and true) story about giving the ‘bird’ during a parking dispute. You’ll be surprised by the outcome.
Then another post from Taxgirl, (that’s 2 in one blog post, thank you Taxgirl!) a fascinating post on Tiger Woods and taxes. A partner of mine always says that tax ties into everything and I guess he is right.
And finally, a very funny post on how to survive the holidays. I also had a post on this, Holidays Are For Kids, a few days ago which might be helpful – it outlines a few schedule options for dealing with the holidays as a divorcee with kids.
Nancy… Keep reading
After the defendant has been served or has entered an appearance, one or both parties usually file a motion asking the court for temporary orders. These deal with important issues such as:
• Who has to move out
• Who has physical custody of the kids (where they live)
• Who has legal custody of the kids (who chooses their doctor)
• Visitation issues (parenting plan)
• Spousal support and/or child support
• Other financial issues such as who pays the mortgage, medicals bills, tuition, etc.
Obviously, these are all compelling and important issues which differ widely from family to family. If the issues can be resolved between the parties, or the parties and their lawyers, then their agreement can be brought to court in the form of a joint stipulation which the judge will (usually) approve and adopt as a court order. The judge will send the parties to Family Service to mediate unresolved issues. Issues remaining after mediation will be decided by the Judge after hearing from both sides.
Before going to Court your attorney should help you prepare a financial statement (there are two – for those with income over $75k and for those with income … Keep reading