In the forums, people refer to "reasonable expenses" that are covered by the child support payments, but I cannot find any specific examples of what those expenses might be. Might that include work trip childcare costs? Any help gathering information of what specifically is covered under child support in Massachusetts would be greatly appreciated.
I think it might assist you if you read, in its entirety, the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. This might assist you in understanding - to a much more fuller extent than I could - what child support is and what the policy is behind the child support amount suggested by the guidelines. You may find the guidelines here: http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/guidelines.pdf
Finally, as a former Child Support Enforcement Attorney in the Commonwealth for over 3 years, this questions was asked often. The simplest answer is that child support is meant to assist the custodial parent in ALL of the expenses that are incurred in raising a child, e.g., rent, food, clothing, entertainment, etc.
I hope the guidelines assist you.
Attorney Rao made a good suggestion.
As with most things, your argument to the Court is the most important explanation. If you can successfully argue that an expense fits into the description within the guidelines or that it is a "reasonable expense," then by all means, the court may agree.
Christine G. DeBernardis, Esq.
This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
Child support certainly covers food, shelter, and clothing, which are children's basic necessities. Costs for child care services (e.g. daycare, babysitter, etc...) are generally considered by most judges to also be proper uses of child support Other than that, once a child support amount is established, the party that is obligated to pay the support does not really have the right to have the party receiving support answer to him or her regarding how and where the money was spent. For example, it would extremely difficult for a court to determine whether a weekly or monthly payment was used for a trip with an ex and her new boyfriend or for payment of the mortgage.
Some people mistakenly believe that some items should be considered to be "child support," when they are in fact not usually considered child support. Some expenses are generally addressed separately in an separation agreement or parenting plan. Examples of these expenses are expenses for extra curricular activities, college expenses, or health insurance.
For more information, check out the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines and consult with an attorney in your area.
The content of this answer should not be relied upon or used as a subsitute for consultation with professional advisors and it should be clearly understood that no attorney-client privilege has been created. A more complete answer and/or more accurate answer can only be provided in a more thorough examination of the facts in a consultation with my firm.
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