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Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines: Paying support Q and A

Regardless of where one lives, when dealing with a child support order, it is completely normal to have questions. The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines have been put in place to address many concerns of both custodial and non-custodial parents. This column will briefly touch on a few questions facing those who have been ordered to pay child support.

One common question is: How is the amount of child support determined? Massachusetts uses a percentage system when figuring out how much one is to pay in child support. A certain percentage of income is ordered based on the number of children for whom one must provide and one’s monthly income.

For those who are unemployed, still in school or in transition, another question might be: How are support payments determined when no income is available? Unfortunately, this is a common problem. Jobs are not always easy to come by, terminations happen and some people simply cannot work due to demanding school schedules. However, if it is deemed necessary, a judge may order a parent to find a job. Support payments would then be based on any income that becomes available.

The last question that will be addressed is: Can a support order be modified? Yes, it is possible to seek modifications to orders of support. However, there will have to be significant reason for such a request. For example, if one loses his or her job and suffers a serious financial set back, this may be a good enough reason to seek a change in the amount that one is ordered to pay.

These, of course, only touch on a few concerns faced by child support paying parents in Massachusetts. Again, further information can be found in the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. Better yet, one can turn to legal counsel for detailed information and direct responses regarding one’s specific child support case.

Source:, “Parent to Pay Lives in Massachusetts“, Accessed on May 4, 2016


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