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Access child support: Non-married couples in Massachusetts

Would you know how to approach someone who you weren't married to about child support? Child support for non-married parents can be a difficult point of contention for parents; it's necessary for a child to have the financial support he needs, but how much should a parent pay or receive? In some cases, one parent could feel like he or she's paying too much, or the other one could feel like he or she's not receiving enough. No matter which side you happen to be on, there are legal avenues to seek what you want.

In Massachusetts, your child support payments are based on guidelines. Judges have some discretion as far as the amounts you'll pay or receive go, but typically, there is a formula that is followed. Things that the judge will consider include the income of the mother and father, the number of children needing to be supported, the cost of medical insurance and the custody arrangements.

When a change is requested to child support, it needs to go through the courts. If the parents agree on something outside the court but then one changes his or her mind, for example, that wouldn't be something courts could enforce. Additionally, when serious circumstances like a lost job or injury take place, the courts have the power to reduce child support payments. In cases where incomes suddenly jump up, more child support might be awarded.

If you're interested in learning more about child support, you can view our webpage on child support. Whether you're looking to modify your support or want to know about how to get child support for your child, it's a great place to start.

Source: Lisa Ruggieri, "Child Support for Non-Married Parents" Sep. 04, 2014

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