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New child support guidelines in Massachusetts

For divorced parents who are attempting to co-parent, there are new guidelines in the state of Massachusetts. There has been increased national attention brought to the subject of child support recently. For example, even President Barack Obama has spoken about the importance of reform in order to fully engage both parents with the child’s life. Massachusetts is ahead of other states in the area of child support in that they have already approved reforms.

These reforms will go into effect on August 1, 2013. The reforms deal primarily with how the amount of child support is determined. The new laws now look at both parents incomes in order to determine a combined support amount. The intent is to look at support as a responsibility of both parents, not simply of one.

The guidelines also allow for a change in current child support payments if there is a discrepancy in what one parent would pay under the new guidelines versus the old. However, there is a slight difference if the court issued the current child support order less than three years ago. If the support amount was ordered less than three years prior, those interested in seeking a change much show that there has been a change in their financial circumstances.

These are just a few of the changes that will take place in Massachusetts in August. Both payers and recipients of child support are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these changes and determine how the changes could potentially affect them. If they feel the changes do affect them, additional legal action may be necessary.

Source:, “New child support guidelines,” Robin Lynch Nardone, June 24, 2013

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