I’m looking to go to nursing school in the fall. I’ve been stuck in dead end jobs for quite some time. I would be in school for 18 months and may not be able to work. What happens with my child support? Is this something the courts “understand” at all? Also, I live in Central Florida but the support order, and my daughter, is in Massachusetts.
You will have to file a modification to reduce it. It will certainly not be eliminated. The court will be sympathetic to the desire to improve your situation, but it will remind you that the child comes first and will not let you suspend your obligation in the interim. The issue will be whether you can work while in school, and what, if any, income will be attributed to you. You will have to appear personally in Massachusetts for court hearings, unless you get permission to participate by phone.
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The court can enter an order for you to pay based on what you actually earn or what you "could" earn. There is also a minimum required order regardless of whether you have any income or not. You would need to apply for a modification during the period in which you are in school citing a change in circumstances and income.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
In order to reduce payments, you must file a modification to reduce support here in MA (I would advise hiring a MA attorney to help you do so). Only the court can answer your question about the amount or guarantee of reduction. If this is a hypo, and you are not enrolled already in nursing school, the enrollment may have to have begun; talk to a lawyer here in MA and decide when is the best time to file and appear for a hearing (your lawyer can file a motion to waive your physical appearance for a motion hearing and/or allow you to appear telephonically for the hearing. You will most likely need to appear for the pre-trial conference date, though.
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