Calculating Child Support
Worcester Child Support Attorney
Child support will be one of the biggest decisions made in divorce. The child support will need to help cover the basic needs of the child – food, education, clothing, shelter, and medical care. Each state has guidelines dictated by its divorce laws that put forth a formula to calculate the amount of child support. There are many factors that are evaluated in a court decision, including each parent's gross income, the amount of take-home pay, and taxes, to name a few. There are also be factors such as determining what type of lifestyle the child has been accustomed to. This is more the case in marriages where high value assets are involved. The court will weigh the lifestyle considerations against the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay. Our Worcester divorce attorney will help you manage the legal maze of divorce proceedings, including child support and the division of assets. Kovacs Law, P.C. is highly regarded in the field of family law, and we are committed to working diligently to protect the rights of our clients and help them through the difficult matters in divorce and child custody.
Calculating Child Support
There is a formula that is implemented in Massachusetts courts to determine the amount of child support. However, it is only calculates an estimate. If the court feels that the estimated amount needs to be amended, it can do so. The calculator operates on the basic assumption that only one of the parties in the divorce will have custodial rights. If the custody is joint physical custody or split custody, the calculation is no longer relevant, and an individual court decision will be made about child support, if any. Also, the calculator does not have the capability of factoring in such situations where there might be expenses that go beyond the ordinary. Again, the calculator is only an estimate, and it does not constitute legal advice. The final authority on the amount awarded for child custody is the court.
The factors that the calculator works with are essentially the following:
- Gross annual income for custodial parent;
- Gross annual income for non-custodial parent;
- Amount, if any, of child support paid weekly for children from a prior marriage;
- Age of oldest child (less than 18 years old);
- Child care costs annually;
- Family group health insurance cost weekly ($100 maximum);
- Who pays for group insurance;
- Other support obligations.
Even when the amount of child support is determined and agreed upon, there might be changes in the future. For example, the custodial parent might become ill and unable to work as a result, reducing the income level. In this case, the court may determine that the non-custodial parent needs to supply more financial child support than was previously being provided. Likewise, the non-custodial parent may suffer from the same circumstances, and the amount of child support might have to be reduced for the time being.
It is the responsibility of both parents to care for and support their children until they reach the age of 18, or the child becomes emancipated. Both federal and state government work together to ensure child support is being paid, as ordered by the court.
Child Support in Worcester Divorce: Committed Legal Representation
Determining the amount of child support is not a clear-cut process. Each case is has unique factors and children have varying needs. At Kovacs Law, P.C., we take each client's case very seriously and represent him or her with personalized care. Our approach means we have the time to thoroughly handle all details needed to conclude child support arrangements that are fair as possible for all parties, particularly for the child or children involved.