When it comes to Child Support, the amount paid, duration of payment and reasons behind the Court's ruling aren't always what the parties think the support payment was going to be.
Below are Five Child Support Facts to help you better understand the laws.
1.) Child Support generally covers three areas concerning the children.These three areas are food, shelter and clothing. The MA guideline calculation takes the combined gross income (or attributed income) of both parents less a deduction for insurance and daycare paid by each and applies a rate to that number, then adjusts for the number of children and the ratio of one parent's income to the other. Further, there are income limits for the calculation. There also may be an adjustment in the payment amount as a result of the number of nights the child(ren) are with each parent in a given year. Massachusetts publishes child support guidelines and worksheets for the public use.
2.) Child Support continues until the child is emancipated.
Emancipation as per MA statute, which is subject to change if the statute changes, is defined as being reached by a child generally when the child turns age18 if he/she does not reside at home and is financially independent and is able to support him(her)self, if not, then age 21 unless attending college full time which extends the age from 21 to 23 or when the child graduates college (whichever happens first). Please note: There are some other minor details set forth in the statute.
3.) Massachusetts child support guidelines are designed to determine what child support payments will be.
Both parents have an obligation to financially support their children. MA has adopted child support guidelines which undergo periodic review and hearings by the public before the guidelines are implemented. In general, the amount of child support is presumptive subject to court approved deviation.
4.) Child Support can be modified.
The court that issues the original child support award is said to have continuing jurisdiction to modify the order as conditions warrant. Either parent may request the court to change the order throughout the duration of the child's minority by a formal motion to the court or by mutual agreement of the parties with some specific filing requirements.
5.) Check with your CPA about tax issues of child support.
Payments of child support are not deductible from the payer's income or included in the recipient's income for tax purposes. (Disclaimer, we are not accountants and don't give tax advice: Check with CPA or tax advisor to confirm).
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