New 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelinesby Ponichtera & DeNardis, P.C. on 09/26/17
New Child Support Guidelines were issued in Massachusetts effective as of September 15, 2017. These new Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines supersede all previous Guidelines. The Guidelines formula was completely revamped and provides in many circumstances for an increase in the child support guidelines amount ordered.
There are several new changes to the pre-existing law. The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines have codified new considerations for parties and attorneys in calculating a child support order, including the imputation of income when a parent has in whole or in part undocumented or unreported income or expense reimbursements and in-kind payments or benefits received by a parent. There are also specific factors for the court to consider in the attribution of income for a parent. These specific considerations include the age, number, needs and care of the children covered by the child support order, as well as assets, residence, education and training, criminal record, and employment barriers as well as other factors to better determine any income to be attributed to a particular parent.
The minimum weekly child support order is now raised to $25.00 per week. The Child Support Guidelines Worksheet now requires that the cost of health insurance be shared proportionally between the parents. This is a major change. Parents may also now agree that a child may be provided health care coverage by other means. If the cost of health care coverage presents a hardship for a parent, the parent may not be required to provide such coverage.
If a parent provides substantially less than one third of the time with a child, then the Court may deviate up from the guidelines. Contribution to college expenses is now capped by the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines at one half of the in-state resident costs for the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, unless a parent has the ability to pay a higher rate.
These are just some of the many changes to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. If you have an existing order, it may be time for a revision. Call Attorney Ann Ponichtera DeNardis for a free consultation to discuss your Massachusetts child support matter.