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A look at new revisions to Massachusetts child support guidelines

| Nov 1, 2021 | Divorce

If you are a parent seeking a divorce in the Franklin, Massachusetts area, child support should be one of your top concerns. After all, it is much harder to raise children on a single income. You probably want to make sure you acquire enough support to provide for your kids after your divorce.

Every four years, federal law requires states to review their child support guidelines and update them as necessary. A Massachusetts task force completed its review of existing laws earlier in 2021 and made several recommendations. The new guidelines contain many recommended revisions that could impact the support you receive or pay for your children in the wake of your divorce.

What has changed about the child support guidelines?

The latest revisions went into effect on Oct. 4, 2021. These changes revolve largely around defining shared parental obligations and updating income amounts to reflect the economic issues occurring over the past few years. 

Four key revisions arose out of this last review:

  1. The minimum support obligation for those with extremely low income was reduced from $25 to $12, with judges retaining the discretion to order even less.
  2. Both parents must now proportionally share the (reasonable) costs of keeping their kids in a child care facility. 
  3. The 15% cap on health care credit no longer exists, but parents can still claim some health care cost deductions.
  4. The maximum combined available income for both parents has increased from $250,000 to $400,000.

For parents, child support laws and guidelines can have a major effect on your finances after a divorce. It is wise to consider these laws if you are divorcing and sharing children with your spouse.