In the revised Massachusetts Guidelines as of August 1, 2013, it states that child support from ages 0 -18 and children who are 18 but still in high school, the guidelines will apply. But after age 18, the courts will look at the financial situation of both parties and if the child is in college to determine how much, if any child support will be awarded. I am assuming that it depends on how much college costs!
But my question is, if they don't use the guidelines after age 18 to calculate an amount of child support, how do they (meaning the courts) come up with an amount to pay for child support? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
The way the new Child Support Guidelines are being interpreted is that after a child turns 18, assuming they do attend college, the Court can: 1) continue to order a child support obligation pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines; 2) Suspend the weekly child support order and issue an order for payment of college costs only; 3) Issue a blended order of a (usually) reduced weekly child support order plus an order for payment of college costs. The determination of any such order is highly fact-specific.
If you are thinking of modifying your child support order on these grounds, you should speak with a knowledgeable Family Law attorney so that you may discuss your specific circumstances in greater detail. Good luck!
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My colleague has very aptly laid out the conditions and circumstances for a modification of child support applicable a child after age 18 enrolled in college.
Consult with a local attorney to advise and assist your through this process.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney
The court will use the child support guidelines as a guide, and in many instances the court will apply the guidelines, as they would in cases where the child is under the age of 18. The court will also balance child support with the costs associated with college and the contribution of each party.
Finally, each case is fact specific, and because the child is over the age of 18 the court will have tremendous discretion in setting a support order. Based upon this great amount of discretion, I strongly recommend retaining a child support attorney to assist you in this.
I wish you the best of luck,
Anthony Rao, Esq.
The above response is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer, and any communication between us is not protected by attorney-client privilege.
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