Child support in Massachusetts underwent substantial changes with new child support guidelines going into effect on June 15, 2018 The new Massachusetts child support guidelines worksheet can be found here.
The current Massachusetts child support guidelines cover parents with combined gross incomes up to $250,000.00. The Guidelines consider several factors, including both parents’ incomes and ability to earn income, the number of children involved, the age of the children (over 18 or under 18 years old), the parenting schedule, and the cost of health care coverage and childcare. Only the court can change or modify the amount of a Massachusetts child support order, but either parent may request a modification of the order if the order is no longer in accordance with the current child support guidelines, or if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances.
Although the duty of parental support is a common law principle, both federal and Massachusetts statutes address child support. Child support may be awarded in a number of contexts besides a final divorce judgment, including an action for separate support, as part of temporary orders during a divorce case, as part of a guardianship petition, a paternity action, or as part of an abuse prevention order under Mass. Gen. Laws c. 209A. Additionally, child support can be ordered as part of an interstate child support action.
The child support guidelines consider circumstances where one parent is the primary physical custodian of the child(ren) as well as circumstances where the parties are sharing parenting time.
TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT OF 2017
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 significantly changed the federal tax implications of alimony. Commencing January 1, 2019, all new alimony orders are no longer tax deductible from the gross income of the payor or taxable income to the recipient on their federal income tax returns. As a result, most Massachusetts Judges are deviating from the current Massachusetts statutory guidelines of 30%-35%, which was entered back when alimony still had federal tax implications.
For more information, please contact Cunnally Law Group, LLC, Massachusetts Family Law attorneys and mediators, at (508) 594-3316.
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Cunnally Law Group, LLC can be reached at 508-594-3316.