Massachusetts - Providing tax returns to my ex-wife annually. Is that the law?

My wife and I are getting divorced and she stated in the terms that for child support the state guidelines require me to provide tax returns every year. Is this true and where can I find it? And can I see *her* tax returns then? Also, does this mean that she can take me back to court every year if my income goes up slightly? What are the laws regarding this?

Dracut, MA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Stephen F. McDonough

Stephen F. McDonough

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Medfield, MA

The child support guidelines can be found here if you want to take a look at them:

The guidelines do not require an exchange of tax returns, but if you agreed to provide your tax returns in your divorce agreement, then you should follow the terms that you agreed to, or you could be in contempt of the agreement. As explained in the other answer, child support can be modified, but the courts generally discourage parents to come back to court if there is only a slight change in income. Generally, a 20% difference is considered to be a significant change that could result in a change in child support, BUT both parent's incomes, along with health insurance and daycare costs will also be considered. Your ex (or Mom) will also need to complete the required court financial statement, and attach a paystub and a W2 and/or 1099 for the previous year.

Although the child support guidelines may seem straightforward, the devil is in the details. For example, some people may not be working to capacity or perhaps have some unreported income. Using a divorce or family lawyer can help you with the details and alert you to issues you may not have considered, etc.

Hope that helps. My firm has additional info that you may find helpful on our website:

Take care!


This answer should not be considered legal advice. Each case is fact specific, and not enough information is... more
Thomas J Callahan

Thomas J Callahan

Family Law Attorney - Hanover, MA

The exchange of returns would be mutual, and yes, each year you could be adjusting the amount of support. Child-related issues are always subject to being reopened upon a material change of circumstances. Since the guidelines formula is pretty cut and dry, you can avoid a hassle by coming to agreement on whatever the new amount of support your incoomes then dictate, and filing a joint modification.

Peggy Margaret Raddatz

Peggy Margaret Raddatz

Family Law Attorney - La Grange, IL

In most states that is standard language and yes you can request hers also. You can easily look up that law in your state or consult a local child support attorney.


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Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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Child Support

Child support is the money paid from one parent to another for expenses resulting from the other parent’s custody of a child or children.

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