The law regarding child support in Massachusetts requires both you and your spouse to contribute to the support of your children until they are emancipated, which can occur any time from their eighteenth to their twenty-third birthday, depending on the circumstances.
In determining how much one of you may be required to pay to the other, we must first know how much money each of you is truly earning, whether one has a second job and whether that income should be considered, if one of you owns a business – how much income it can provide, whether there are income producing investments that should be included, whether support or expenses for another child must be considered, whether there are gifts or inheritances that are potentially significant. In other words, this is sometimes harder than you might think.
Even once the full income of each parent is known, and set forth on the appropriate financial statement, child support is more than a simple matter of inserting numbers into a formula contained in the Child Support Guidelines and coming up with an order. While this is sometimes what happens, there are also circumstances that allow the court to deviate from those Guidelines. We will explore possible deviations in your case to determine whether or not “Guideline” support is appropriate or whether one parent should pay more or less than the Guidelines provide.