Massachusetts Family Law Attorney, Lisa A. Ruggieri, describes what you need to know under the new 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.
We stress in today's blog post what might be reasonably termed as a slippery slope regarding paternity, which is often a fundamentally -- and sometimes, as noted below, contentious -- family law matter.
If you have been paying attention to recent commercials or the change in displays at Target or Wal-Mart, the back-to-school shopping season is in full swing, even though we haven’t touched August 1st yet. Retailers want to get out in front of the competition as early as possible, but divorcing and separated parents may not have as much money to spend because of a breakup. Meanwhile, the costs of notebooks, clothing and electronics that kids need for a new school year will probably rise.
Although it is certainly not a divorce-related story with a fact pattern readily reminiscent of other dissolution narratives, it is replete with information that an audience in Massachusetts or elsewhere might reasonably regard as being instructive.
If you are divorcing and valuable assets are part of your divorce, you already understand how complicated the issues can be. These assets affect child support, with the amount of payments determined in part by the income of both parents. Adding to the issue is the standard of living your children have enjoyed throughout their lives. It is probably fair to say that they deserve to continue enjoying their current standard of living.
Mention the words "unallocated support" to a number of people who have gone through the divorce process, and you might be met with a stare of incomprehension.
You deserve the child support that a court awarded to you, and if that child support isn't being paid, you don't need to sit back and wait for it indefinitely. Having to wait for this support may not affect you financially, but that's no reason not to seek it out. The support is meant to help your child get the things he or she needs, whether or not that money is necessary in his or her daily life. It's up to you to make sure the child support money goes toward your child's needs.
If you need to have your child support payments modified, you typically can by following a child support modification process through the courts or by making an agreement with your ex-spouse. If you can't support the amount of money you're expected to pay, it's important to act quickly to get your modification set into action; if you don't, you could start owing back child support, which can be expensive.
When you think of child support, what do you imagine it is for? If you see the money going toward your child's home, health and happiness, then you understand the very basis of what this money is meant to be used for. During a divorce, determining child support and how much one person should receive or owe can be contentious, but when all is said and done, this money is for the continued welfare of your children.
As a parent with primary custody of your child in Massachusetts, it's important to make sure that you're getting the child support you need and deserve. Child support is awarded so you can give your child everything he or she needs despite not having both parents in the home. If you're not receiving it, then the other parent is committing a crime.