As many families are struggling on the economic home front, it is not uncommon for working parents to pick up overtime shifts -- or even a second job -- in order to help their fiscal situations. This is particularly true for those who are ordered to pay child support, either after a divorce or for children conceived out of wedlock, as support payments can take a good chunk of their monthly income. Numerous Massachusetts parents may wonder, though, if taking on overtime or a second job is really going to help their personal financial state or just increase the amount they owe in support payments. To help answer that question, this week's post will look at what the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines say about overtime pay.
Generally speaking, the Court can decide to include or disregard money earned from working overtime hours or from income earned at a second job. Several factors will be considered before this decision is made. These factors include:
- Income history
- Financial needs of both parents and the children
- Job hours requirements
- Effects of overtime/secondary jobs on parenting plan
Giving a timeline for when the overtime or secondary job pay started coming in is extremely important. For those who were acquiring this income during the marriage, the Court will get to decide if it should be included. For those who increased their working hours after a support order has already been approved, such income will not be included in future child support calculations.
While providing for the needs of their children is the primary concern for most parents, covering their own financial concerns is important too. Those who are willing to work longer hours to be able to meet their support obligations and provide for their own needs, according to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, may be able to keep that extra income for their personal use. Legal counsel can assist with child support issues and answer any further questions regarding support calculations.
Source: mass.gov, "Child Support Guidelines", Accessed on April 1, 2015