Child support mediation in MA is a faster, lower cost way to a fair and reasonable child support agreement. Child support is money paid by one parent to another for the support of a child. In most cases, child support is determined according to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. For an official copy of the latest Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines and all worksheets and instructions necessary to calculate child support click here.
Child Support in MA
In order to figure out who pays child support and how much, the following things need to be evaluated:
- The amount of time the child or children spend with each parent.
- The incomes of the parties.
- The cost of child care or day care.
- The cost of medical insurance for the parties and the child or children.
- The number of children and their ages.
- The additional payment of alimony, if any.
- The payor’s prior support obligations to other families.
If the child resides primarily with one parent, generally the other parent pays child support to the primary-caretaker parent. The amount of child support to be paid is calculated pursuant to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. If the child resides with each parent for an approximately equal amount of time, or if each parent has physical custody of a child (called “shared physical custody”) then each party pays child support to the other with the actual payment being the net difference of the two calculations. In circumstances where one parent is with the child or children less than half of the time but more than one-third of the time, an averaging of the two different child support calculations described above will typically take place.
The facts and circumstances of every family are different. When appropriate, judges will approve a deviation from the Child Support Guidelines calculated payment amount provided that the financial arrangements of the family are reasonable and those arrangements address the children’s needs. Divorce mediation is an ideal environment for resolving the multiple issues involved in reaching a child support agreement that is fair to both parents and is supportive of the children’s needs.