Divorce is already an emotionally difficult process. However, when there are children involved, it can become even more complicated. It is important when dealing with children in a divorce that parents attempt to maintain the child's current lifestyle in order to cause as little disruption as possible. Divorcing parents in Massachusetts may benefit by planning their budgets in anticipation of potential child support payments and other expenses caused by the marital dissolution.
Understanding how a child support payment is reached can be a difficult task. For most Massachusetts couples going through divorce or child support proceedings, the amount to be paid can be determined based on the child support guidelines. These guidelines are a system that is used by officials to assist them in reaching a dollar figure that one parent will be obligated to pay. Understanding exactly what factors are considered may be important in ensuring that a fair figure is established.
An out-of-state court decision has held that children who are legally emancipated from their parents may be entitled to child support payments. In a unanimous decision, the court held that a girl, who had left her home at age 13 due to her mother's abusive boyfriend, was entitled to collect child support from her mother until she turned 18. This decision could prove relevant to Massachusetts children who are in need of support from their parents despite being legally emancipated, though the court decision from another state is not directly binding in ours.
Given the rising cost of a college education, an issue has arisen as to parents' responsibility for paying their child's tuition after divorce. It was recently released that the average cost for one year of tuition at a private college has exceeded $35,000 and that the average cost for tuition at a public college has exceeded $20,000. This has caused many Massachusetts families to evaluate whether or not they can afford to pay for their child's college expenses, a decision that can be even more difficult if the parents are going through a divorce.
The United States House of Representatives recently passed a bill that could make it easier for child support to be collected from parents who reside outside of the United States. The bill is an attempt to ratify a 2007 international treaty with other countries. If fully ratified, it will allow child support agencies in Massachusetts and other states the ability to cooperate better with other countries in seeking enforcement of child support orders from noncustodial parents living in other member countries.
Child support payments are often a necessary part of a divorce when couples have children together. The payments are used to give children a stable life. When one parent fails to pay child support, it seems that everyone suffers.
An unusual child support case that may grab the interest of Massachusetts readers has attracted widespread attention. The child support matter concerns the responsibilities that a sperm donor may or may not have in relation to the children who are produced using his sperm. The case arose after a man was sued for child support by the woman who used his sperm for in-vitro fertilization.