New Child Support Guidelines in Massachusetts
In the fall of 2021, new child support guidelines officially went into effect in Massachusetts. Whether you are currently approaching a divorce, or you have been paying child support for years, you should pay close attention to these new changes. Depending on your situation, they could benefit you significantly. Child support is often a contentious issue among parents, and any laws that can help clarify points of confusion are always welcome. However, it can be difficult to make sense of these new changes, especially if you do not have extensive legal knowledge.
If you wish to explore how these changes affect you, it is best to consult with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in Massachusetts. Our legal professionals are familiar with how child support works in the state, and we stay informed on the latest developments within the legal world. With our help, you can make sense of these new changes and determine how they might impact your own personal situation.
The Definition of “Income”
The definition of “income” has changed slightly, and this is an important factor when calculating child support. According to the new changes, stock options, incentives, and other similar financial assets are now considered income when calculating child support. This change prevents spouses from pursuing compensation via stock options in an effort to pay a lowered child support amount.
The minimum order is now $25 per week. This is a notable increase from the previous minimum order, which was $12 per week. However, the court still has the authority to set an appropriate level of support, which can be as low as $0.
Under previous guidelines, child support was calculated based on the first $250,000 of parents’ combined income. New guidelines state that support is now calculated based on the first $400,000 of parents’ combined income.
“Reasonable childcare costs” are now considered to be $355 per week, per child. However, there must be gainful employment of either party in order to justify these costs. Previously, parents only received a 15% credit for childcare costs.
More than One Child
If there is more than one child, the child support amount is incrementally increased by a larger amount than previously outlined.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the bottom line here is that child support payments have increased. The paying spouse will likely shoulder more of a burden going forward, while the receiving spouse will have the ability to pursue greater funds.
When Do These Changes Go Into Effect?
These new changes went into effect on October 4th of 2021. As such, these new changes will apply to all child support orders and judgments entered after this date.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Massachusetts area for an experienced child support attorney, look no further than the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos. The sooner you book a consultation, the easier it will be to pursue a positive legal outcome. With our help, you can make sense of these new changes and determine how they might affect your own child support situation. Reach out today, and we can guide you forward. 508-386-9094.