How is child support determined?
In Massachusetts, the courts utilize Child Support Guidelines (“Guidelines”) to determine the level of child support which would be appropriate in various situations. The Guidelines are amended from time-to-time. In setting a Child Support Order under the Guidelines, the court will consider child care costs, the number of children, cost of medical insurance for the children, parenting time expended by either parent, and prior court Orders and obligations affecting either party. Generally, the court must utilize the Guidelines; however, in certain circumstances the court may deviate from the Guidelines by entering specific written findings. Sometimes, the Guidelines don’t apply. However, when the Guidelines do apply, the court will utilize a “Child Support Guidelines Worksheet”.
What can I do to enforce a Court Order for child support or visitation?
Once the court has made a Temporary Order or Judgment, both parties must comply with the Order or Judgment. If one side does not comply, the other side can file a Complaint for Contempt seeking enforcement of the Order or Judgment, and reimbursement for attorney’s fees. Contempts may be filed to enforce much Court Orders, including but not limited to child support, alimony, visitation, and property division.