The state child support guidelines in Massachusetts consider the income of parents as a key factor in determining the child support payment obligation. Up to a certain level of income, the child support amount will be largely proportionate to the income. Although the child has a right to enjoy the success of the parent, the child support guidelines impose upper limits on income up to which the calculation can apply.
The courts in Massachusetts generally believe that the purpose of child support is to pay for the necessary and reasonable costs of a child’s upbringing and exorbitant child support orders may not always be in the child’s best interests. Considering the element of subjectivity involved in child support orders, particularly where the parents’ income is high, it is prudent to seek legal guidance from an expert.
Divorce attorney Jay Davis has in-depth knowledge and vast experience in handling child support and other family law issues in a Massachusetts divorce. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with Jay or one of the members of his legal team at Davis Law Group, call 617-221-3548 today.
Upper Limit on Parents’ Income
Under Massachusetts law, a maximum limit has been set at $250,000 on the parents’ income (combined annual gross income of both parents) for the purpose of child support calculations. Even where this income figure is higher than this limit, the court will apply the guidelines to the maximum amount of $250,000 only.
While in normal cases, this income cap will apply, the court has the discretion to deviate from this limit after considering all pertinent factors. These may include:
- The difference in the living standards of the co-parents
- Whether the child has exceptionally high medical expenses
- Whether the child has any special needs
- What are the costs of the child’s education and extra-curricular activities
If the judge determines that the minimum presumptive child support order will not be adequate in the given circumstances, and the paying parent has a higher income, they may increase the child support amount. Whether you are the custodial parent seeking a higher child support payment or you are the paying parent seeking to protect your rights in this case, you should have the best legal representation available to you.
Family law attorney Jay Davis is committed to providing you the right legal advice. Jay and his passionate legal team will work hard to establish facts and evidence to support your case and present them most effectively before the court. Call us at 617-221-3548 to set up a free consultation today.
Child Support Modification in High Income Cases
Courts in Massachusetts have ruled in the past that even if the income of the paying parent has substantially increased, a material change of circumstances must also be shown in order to modify a child support order. This change could occur in the child’s needs or the parties’ financial resources and lifestyles, and the party seeking order modification should be able to provide supporting evidence to show that the change is material.
In particular, when the custodial parent requests for an increase in child support amount beyond the standard guidelines, another vital issue to be considered is: Does material disparity exist in the lifestyles of both parents? The courts consider “material disparity” as a crucial matter because the child should not be faced with a situation, where he or she experiences a significantly different lifestyle while spending time with each parent.
Therefore, even when the non-custodial parent has had a major rise in their income, but the custodial parent is unable to establish that “material disparity” exists between the lifestyles at the households of both parents they may not get an increase in child support. The issue of “material disparity” is again subjective, and the judge will have sufficient discretion in assessing this aspect.
Consult with a Dedicated Child Support Lawyer in Massachusetts
In determining child support or modifying a previous child support order, the courts will give top priority to the child’s best interests. However, they will still go by the facts and evidence that both parties are able to present before them. This is where you can have strong support from a seasoned divorce lawyer in Massachusetts, Jay Davis and his skilled legal team.
Davis Law Group is a trusted and reputable name in the field of family law in Massachusetts. Jay will personally be involved in resolving your high net worth divorce or family law matters and help you navigate through the complexities of high-income child support. For any questions or guidance regarding your Massachusetts child support calculations, call us today at 617-221-3548 to set up a complimentary consultation.