Child support is an issue that has received a great deal of attention and revamping in the last two decades. Whether you are the person who pays or will receive payment, you will want to understand this important issue. The federal government, in order to bring the states into line on the child support issue, requires that each state come up with a child support formula or “Guide Lines” that would render a predictable result based upon the number of children and the income of the parties. Massachusetts has its own formula which is presumptive for payment of child support for children 18 years old or younger. That being said, the guide lines can be departed from if the facts of your case justify a deviation.
Some examples where deviation for factual reasons is appropriate:
- If the custody/visitation issue is physical or split physical custody;
- Other reasons to depart from the strict application of the guide lines include payment of significant expenses, such as for private school, college, etc., and payment for travel expenses when the parent lives in another locale which is distant.
These are examples of departure from guide lines, but any factual matter might be relevant if it somehow impacts on the support issue.
When you come to discuss child support with me, you should understand the concept of the guide lines. You should tell me about the needs of your children and their special and unique qualities. Are they involved in sports, such as hockey, which is very expensive for them to participate in? Do they have an aptitude in music and play the piano and enrolled in a music program? These facts of your children’s lives will help me come up with an appropriate understanding of their needs and how to best represent you. Although child support is a formula and the intention is to create uniformity, all cases are unique and require looking at.