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New Ma. child support guidelines

Boston, MA |

I was under the impression that the new ma. child support guidelines would benefit the parent who has sole physical custody, especially if there are a number of kids and the parent can not work because the children are young and have different medical and educational issues. But someone recently said that the new guidelines would most likely lower an existing child support order if it was above guidelines, even if there are circumstances that require it to be. I understand there are guidelines to modify and that you need a change in circumstances, but what if the parent receiving the support wants to modify the current order, and has the circumstances, and one of them is the father is going to got a raise, will that matter or are the guidelines lower now?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

If you know how much the other parent makes, you can calculate what your child support order should be. Just search for the MA child support guidelines calculator on line and plug in the numbers. Whether the new guidelines result in a raise or reduction of child support depends on when, and under which guidelines, the old child support order was calculated.

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Asker

Posted

They were calculated in 2011, but they are higher than the guidelines. I am not trying to increase my support, I am only trying to make the court make my ex pay for something that i am supposed to pay half of and can no longer afford because the co pays that i pay 100% of tripled. ALso for paying over the guidelines my ex was given MY deductions, ,mortgage (I own the house) three of the four children (they live with me over 90% of the time) he is allowed to claim all of the money from the DOR (all but 50) as alimony, for his tax purposes only, the DOR still sees it as child support. Which then forces me to owe and to pay almost 1000 to the IRS because it is alimony, money I would not have to pay otherwise. The agreement is different, there are two parts to it. a mortgage component and a non mortgage component, the actual money I receive I get through the DOR, my ex keeps the balance of our support order to pay the mortgage, taxes, ins. For ex. if it were 1000 a week, I'd get 500 from DOR and he would keep 500 and pay the mortgage, taxes, ins. with that 500. So in the DOR's eyes, I only get 500 a week in child support, it is our agreement that makes it 1000. So he does not really give me more than the guidelines, which would have been approx. 36,000, because the 52,000 that is given to me (this includes the mortgage payments.....) is pretty much just an advance because I was forced to give him my deductions. He did not just volunteer to pay that extra money, he is compensated for it in the end. At the end of the year he gets monies/write offs he would not have EVER had if I didn't give them. I was awarded the house in the divorce agreement, it is mine, I can refinance it today and get him off the mortgage or I can sell it today and keep 100% of the profits, but because he is still listed on the mortgage he can legally still be allowed the write offs, but had he not agreed to pay the extra each week, that would have been my write off, he would have no right to it whatsoever. Because then I would have had to pay the mortgage from the 36,000 I got in child support. anyhow, he got back from all of his write offs over 12000.00 last year. he pays 16,000 over, if you deduct that and half of all of my co pays, which he would have had been ordered to pay (minus the first 250) his share would have been 2500, plus you can't expect me to count the 1000 I have to pay the IRS as part of the income, I would not be paying that if he wasn't allowed to claim it for his tax purposes only, so that 1000 should be taken right off the top so it should all come off of 51,000.00 so add the 12,000 and the 2500, you get 14500, if you deduct it from the 51,000 you get 36,500, so he really is not paying over guidelines, not to mention he does nothing for them pays for almost not extras, brings them no where I am the one who does i all. I stay at home. my kids are still fairly young and have many different medical and educational issues, so I am the caregiver, I do it all, he is clueless, i anything he interferes and has no knowledge which is even scarier. So I have filed a modification not to have him pay me more, but just to make the court order him to pay for my share of the braces for my children (right now two of them, all four need them) I can not afford it with all of the co pays and I can not split co pays with hm as much as I'd love to, because he will not ever pay his share, that was another reason I got stuck with htem, because I would have anyhow, he was constantly in arrears with his child support and never paid co pays. My lawyer was HORRIBLE. (that's a long story) anyhow since I am not actually asking for an increase in support, do you think the amount of child support will come up or be affected? Thanks.

Posted

When Massachusetts made updates to the guidelines, it was because the calculations used resulted in support amounts that were well above the national average. Basically, nonresidential parents in Massachusetts, on average, were paying more than nonresidential parents in other states (e.g. closer to 25% of their income rather than something along the lines of 17 or 18%). This means that if everything else stayed exactly the same (both of your incomes, both of your health insurance costs, the amount either of you pay towards childcare or prior support orders), then your order would likely be lower under the new guidelines.

If other things have changed, whether your order will go up or down will be based on the actual numbers.

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Posted

That is ridiculous, I can not imagine that most parents live out of state and if so then they should only adjust their support orders. Because it was ridiculous prior to that, nevermind now. For example a father could make 135,000 a year and pay his ex wife and four kids 36,000 a year, but after taxes kept 55,000 for HIMSELF!!! How is that fair??? Not to mention if that mother of four kids could work, she would spend much of her salary on day care, whoopee she gets to write it off in the end, well that does not help her the rest of the year!!! What if that same father is living with or married to someone that makes over 100,000.00 a year, once again how fair is that? That should have to come into play, so between two people with no kids they make 155,000.00 a year, where the ex wife with four kids gets to live off of 36,000.00 a year. THe ex husbands, new partners money should come into play, it should not be used to pay for his kids, but it most certainly should be considered as money he has access to,. Meaning if she can afford to pay all the bills then she should have to, he should give extra to his kids. His new wife knew this coming in, so shame on her. She would have to pay all of the house bills anyhow, even if he didn't live with her. The person or people who come up with these numbers are certainly not women, not women with four children and an ex who has screwed them from day one!! This is such a disgrace, these out of state people should be viewed on a case by case basis.

Jaye L. Samuels

Jaye L. Samuels

Posted

I think you may have misunderstood my explanation. This change had nothing to do with parents who live out-of-state. The decision had to do with the fact that when compared to other states, Massachusetts parents generally pay more. If you'd like to understand more about the new guidelines and the reasoning behind the guidelines in general, all of that information can be found here: http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/

Asker

Posted

I have read them, I thought they sounded better for the parent who was receiving the support. It is ridiculous to compare to other states as our cost of living is much higher, everything is much higher. I am sure it is based on percentages, but it is already so pathetic leaving the father with so much more income. It is disgraceful. Thank you for your response.

Posted

All things being equal, i.e., the income levels and deductible expenses, the new child support guidelines result in a slightly lower payment. However, if a payor were to get a raise enough to amount to a material change in circumstances, chances are the amount of support would still go up. Additionally, it appears that there is now more guidance for the judges in terms of deviations from the guidelines, which will hopefully result in the amounts that will not put either household at a greater disadvantage than they were before the new Guidelines were enacted. Good luck and I hope this helps!

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

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Posted

Thanks!!

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