Will I Need a Massachusetts Child Support Lawyer?
Child support cases are delicate; before litigating for child support payments, you must understand the variables and calculations used by a Massachusetts’s family court to determine child support payments. If you ended a relationship with your spouse or partner in the state of Massachusetts–and are trying to secure child support payments– you must understand the state’s complexities surrounding the law.
In the state of Massachusetts, the court system believes that both parents have a responsibility for child support that is based on their individual incomes and a previously-rendered custody ruling. The evaluation of income is placed in proportion with the child’s standard of living before the couple dissolved their relationship. This evaluation, which is mandated by the Massachusetts’s family law court system, illuminates the need of hiring—following the transfer of custodial rights–a Massachusetts child support lawyer.
In Massachusetts, child support is the legal obligation to provide payments for the financial support of your child following the dissolution of a relationship. In the majority of rulings, the non-custodial parent will provide child support payments to the custodial parent. Because child custody and child support are inter-related, a typical Massachusetts child support lawyer will specialize in both custody and support cases.
Massachusetts child support lawyers are necessary in support cases because the calculation and evaluation concerning support payments is a complex process; each state will implement unique guidelines to determine how much a parent is required to pay. To expedite this local calculation, a Massachusetts child support lawyers will assess your financial standing, including your income, your assets, your child’s medical expenses, and the ages of the child to determine child support.
Child Support Calculation Used in Massachusetts:
The state of Massachusetts implements a number of guidelines to tabulate child support payments; the guidelines for the calculation are formulated by the justices of the Trial Court. In establishing said guidelines, the state evaluates aims to achieve the following:
• Minimize the economic impact on the child of the parents breaking up
• Encourage a joint parental responsibility for child support in proportion to, or as a percentage of income
• To provide the child with a standard of living that he or she would have enjoyed had the family remained intact
• To meet the child’s survival needs
• To protect the income of parents at the low end of the income range
• Take into account non-monetary contributions of both parents
• Minimize the problems of proof for the parents and the cost of court
• Allow for orders and wage assignments that may be adjusted as income fluctuates
To achieve these goals and abide by these guidelines the state defines gross income as coming from the following sources:
• Salaries and wages
• Income derived from interest and dividends
• Income derived from business or partnerships
• Social security
• Veterans’ benefits
• Insurance benefits
• Workers’ compensation
• Unemployment compensation
• Income generated from trusts
• Capital gains
• Spousal support
• Net rental income
• Prizes or awards
• Lottery or gambling winnings
• Income from life interest or endowment contracts
• Contractual agreements
Massachusetts will utilize the following formula to calculate a basic child support obligation—these calculations are based on the income of the non-custodial parent:
*For a non-custodial parent who earns between $0-$100 gross weekly income the state will decide the support obligation; however, it cannot be less than $80 per month
*For a non-custodial parent who earns between $101-$280 gross weekly income the state will implement an obligation of 21% for 1 child; 24% for 2 children; and 27% for three children
* For a non-custodial parent who earns between $281-750 gross weekly income the state will implement an obligation of $59+23% for 1 child; +$67+28% for 2 children; and $76+31% for three children
* For a non-custodial parent who earns between $751 to max gross weekly income the state will implement an obligation of $167+25% for 1 child; $199+30% for 2 children; and +$222+33% for three children
How do I Find the Right Massachusetts Child Support Lawyer?
To find a suitable Massachusetts Child Support Lawyer you must utilize all available resources, including the Internet, the Yellowpages and referrals from friends, family or people in your community.
To compile a list of all Massachusetts Child Support Lawyers in your area you should perform location-specific Internet searches. The majority of Massachusetts child support lawyers will be listed online; once you have compiled a list of all child support legal representatives in your area, you should visit their website and view their biographical information. Observe their years of experience, the cases they’ve handled and the reputability of their firm—do they come off as professional?
In addition to reviewing the attorney’s website, you should cross-reference your findings with the Massachusetts Bar website. The BAR website will provide a list of all licensed Massachusetts child support lawyers in your area and any disciplinary actions taken against them throughout their careers. It is essential to hire a Massachusetts child support lawyer who is actively licensed to practice law in the state.
Child support cases are rarely uniform; the personalities and the circumstances will vary from case to case. Because of this variance, it is important to hire a Massachusetts child support lawyer who specializes in what your case revolves around. If your child support case is enshrouded in animosity and involves significant disagreements, you should hire a child support attorney who has a history of succeeding in adversarial situations. By contrast, if your case lacks complexity, any reputable or experienced child support lawyer will do.