You have decided to file for divorce, and now you are worried about taking care of your child on your own. You don’t need to have concerns about this, as that is what child support is for. Your ex-partner must help you out with any expenses related to your child. But how much exactly will you receive from them? Well, the court sets the amount based on many considerations:
First, the court will look at your and your ex-spouse´s gross incomes. Depending on your income, the court will determine how much each of you should pay to support the child. Wages are not the only source of income. Income can also be any money you get from commissions, insurance benefits and worker’s compensation, among other sources.
The Child Support Guidelines of Massachusetts also consider the amount of time each parent spends with the kids. Usually, the child will live with one parent and spend one-third of the time with the other. If the parent that does not live with the kids sees them less than one-third of the time, they will have to pay more for child support.
Child care costs
Child support includes food, education, clothes, transportation and any other expenses that will ensure your child’s standard of living. If your child is over 18 years old, you have the right to ask the court to consider them for child support. The court might also order a parent to contribute to post-secondary educational expenses if both of you can afford it. The same applies to extracurricular activities, such as private school or summer camps.
Health care coverage and dental/vision insurance
Your child has the right to have health, dental and vision coverage. The costs of these must be reasonable and adequate to your income level.
The number of children
The formula that the court uses to calculate child support applies to families with one to five children. If you have more than five kids, the child support order should be at least the amount that you would get for five kids.
If your ex-spouse fails to pay the established amount, they will be violating the law, and the court can impose fines on them. You can also ask the court to modify your child support order if your circumstances change.