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In mass. do I have to go in front of a judge to have child support modified thanks

Duxbury, MA |

iam p aying child support for a 19yr old who is not in school and works sometimes.THE judge says I HAVE to bring it up at my divorce in march 2013/thanks

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Yes you will have to go in front of a judge to change the amount of child support you are paying if it is being done so pursuant to a court order. It sounds like you are paying based on temporary orders if you are not already divorced. You will need to prove that the child is emancipated or not attending school in the divorce to change the order. You should speak to an attorney who can help you prepare for trial to prove these matters.


  2. Massachusetts law states that child support does not have to be paid if a child is "emancipated". Emancipation is different than a child reaching the age of majority, which is 18. "Emancipation" is fact driven, but in general, Massachusetts law states that if a child is under age 21 and is domiciled and principally dependent on a parent for support,(regardless of whether that child is attending college or working a part-time job), then the payor-parent may have to continue payment of child support. If a child is between the age of 21 and 23, and is enrolled in an educational program, such as college, then child support could be ordered to continue until the child attains the undergraduate degree or becomes age 23, whichever occurs first. Therefore, if your child is still living at home and is principally dependent on the other parent for support, your child support will most likely continue until age 21 or until age 23, if your child is enrolled in an undergraduate educational program. Remember, a judge has the discretion to deviate from these guidelines and either reduce or eliminate child support, but you must make a compelling argument to justify deviation. The judge can also deviate from the child support guidelines if you are making a separate financial contribution to your child's educational expenses or the child lives with you for a significant amount of time. In order to more accurately evaluate your circumstances, you should consult an attorney and prepare a clear justification to support your request to eliminate or reduce child support. Otherwise, the guidelines stated above will most likely be used by the judge in your case.

    DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein, and the receipt or transmission of same does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship and the information provided does not constitute full analysis of any specific matter.


  3. Get a lawyer, you may not have to pay any child support at all.



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