There are couple of important and valuable resources: 1) is an app that you can download on your iPhone. It’s called the Massachusetts State Child Support Calculator. It has a state logo on it, it’s by Concept Cache LLC. I’ve used it, and I found it to be reliable. There are also other apps that you can use on Android. You can download those apps. The beauty of it is all you have to do is enter the numbers and the app will calculate the child support amount for you.
The other valuable resource is “online” you can Google Mass child support guidelines worksheet. That’s MA and then child support guidelines worksheet. If you search that, you’ll see a link to childsupportguidelines/mass.gov and if you click on that link, you will see links to the Massachusetts child support guidelines which explains how the guidelines work and also a Massachusetts support calculation worksheet. The worksheet essentially mirrors what you’ll see on the app which is 2 columns, 1 for the payer, 1 for the recipient. You enter the numbers on the respective columns for the calculation.
If you don’t have an app and you’re using the worksheet, you have to do the math yourself. On the calculation on the worksheet, you will enter the following. The gross incomes of the parties. That’s gross from all sources, so the total earned by each party. Then, you enter the following deductions for each party. Healthcare expenses, dental and vision expenses, child care expenses for either employment or training or education for purposes of obtaining employment. You can also deduct other prior orders, either alimony or child support including a hypothetical child support amount if the payer or recipient are making voluntary payments for a child that the person supports, or hypothetical payments for a child that lives with the person that the person supports.
You enter those numbers and you will get a presumptive child support amount. Deviation is allowed from that amount. The amount that you get from that calculation isn’t necessarily what the child support has to be. You can deviate from that amount either by agreement of the parties, or the judge can decide to deviate from that amount because of extraordinary expenses paid by either of the parties. Some examples are if a child is special needs, or if any of the parties or the child has health, medical or travel expenses that are significant.
Another thing to remember is that these guidelines apply only to children that are under 18. Although they’re used as a guide for children that are over 18, when a child hits 18, a judge has more discretion on child support and can take a number of factors into account in determining a child support amount. Of course, child support in Massachusetts can go all the way to the age of 23 if the child is in an undergraduate program and dependent on a parent.
The other thing to remember is that this calculation is presuming that there is a traditional sole physical custody arrangement where 1 parent has the child about 2/3 of the time and the other parent has the child about 1/3 of the time. If the arrangement is different, so if the parent has the child almost all of the time, or you have a situation that’s closer to or at a 50/50 split, there will be a different calculation used. That’s a little more complicated, and you should probably consult an attorney. This just gives you a basic idea of how child support works. You can get more information on BillFariasLaw.com. You can also call with any questions at 508-682-8060.
Disclaimer: This audio is NOT a substitute for reliable legal representation. This is only intended to give you general information about how child support calculations work in MA. There are many intricacies to child support calculations that may impact the child support amount. You should always consult an attorney before proceeding with an official calculation.