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What do i do? i have been brought to court for the first time about child support I've never dealt in this situation before.

Pepperell, MA |

i am 21 and have twins i am willing to pay the child support but don't want to get screwed over in the end and i want to be able to make sure that all the payments are going to just my children and what do i do because i do not currently have a job and don't want to go to jail for not paying.

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Attorney answers 5


Meet with an attorney for a consult. If you have limited resources meet with someone who offers limited assistance representation.

Address this early on before child support arrears accumulate.

I wish you all the best.

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I am sorry you are dealing with this difficult situation. If there is a current order for child support and you are have not made payments, you may be found in contempt. If your income is now lower than it was when the order was entered, you may be eligible for a modification based on your new income. However, if the court finds that you are willfully unemployed or underemployed, income may be attributed to you in calculating the amount of child support. I suggest you contact an attorney to assist you with this - as my colleague noted, you may be able to accomplish this with an attorney who offers limited assistance representation. Good luck.

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You need to retain counsel for either full representation or on a limited basis. If you can’t afford either visit the lawyer for a day desk at the probate court for free advice (clerk can direct you. The amount you pay will be determined by application of the child support guidelines to your income (or attributed income) and the mother’s. Generally, the minimum support payment is $88.00 per month.

While you are in court you should try to formalize you custody status and visitation schedule.

As far as determining that the payments are spent on you children, the presumption s that the mother is making the right decisions – you would have to allege and prove otherwise

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.

Thomas J Callahan

Thomas J Callahan


And to avoid jail, you will need to find some income, part-time or whatever, to make that $88 per month minimum payment. And if you do earn more, the parent can seek modification of the amount later to increase it from that minimum.


Consult a lawyer or the lawyer of the day in the probate and family

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You should definitely meet with an attorney to discuss and to figure out what your estimated child support will be under the MA child support guidelines. You can hire an attorney to represent you through the whole process or if money is an issue then I recommend hiring someone on a limited assistance representation basis. Best of luck.

Melissa Levine
Levine and Piro, Attorneys at Law
Maynard, MA 01754

Melissa Levine is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by Attorney Levine answering your question. It is advisable to consult with an attorney about your personal legal concerns.