Child Support

Child Support

Child support should be fair to parents and children.

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, parents are financially responsible for their dependent children. Whether a parent has physical custody of a child, visitation or is estranged, support must be maintained so that a child can have an economically stable life. Whether you are asking the court for a support order or believe you are being asked to carry more than your fair share, the Law Office of Michelle M. Murray knows the intricacies of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines and can help you navigate the system. We’re here to help.

Child Support Calculations

In Massachusetts, the court uses a percentage system to arrive at a child support figure. They will look at each parent’s gross income, child care costs, medical and dental coverage, and other obligations. By weighing each parent’s ability to contribute to the child’s welfare, the non-custodial parent usually pays support for the child. But how those figures are negotiated can go far beyond numbers on a page. That’s where an experienced family law attorney can make a wealth of difference.

Child Support Collection

If child support is paid through the state, a bill is issued and sent to your employer detailing how much to withhold from your paycheck. This can be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Having the state handle collection is generally the best option. You won’t have to take any action, such as writing and mailing checks. It also creates a record with the state that you’ve paid and won’t be subject to a dispute over money. If you do contribute directly, it’s important to always pay by check or money order and keep a detailed record.

If you fall behind on your obligations, we can address this with the court and make arrangements to get caught up over time. Keep in mind that you can be subject to interest and penalties if this situation isn’t addressed. The state also has the option to suspend your drivers’ license, professional license, and to take your tax refunds in order to enforce a child support order.

The Law Office of Michelle M. Murray can help you negotiate away those penalties and interest in certain circumstances, and to fight to regain your license.

Court Order Modification

Child support orders are designed to balance the financial needs of a child with the abilities of parents to contribute. But over time, those things can change. People lose jobs, fall ill or are negatively affected in other ways.

When people have significant positive or negative financial changes, the court may allow a redistribution of child support contributions. Keep in mind that child support modifications can generally only go into effect once a case has been filed and the other parent has been served notice. So, having an attorney file paperwork quickly with the court is in your best interest. The Law Office of Michelle M. Murray can get your case filed quickly.

At the Law Office of Michelle M. Murray, we work with parents in Worcester County to put in place and modify child support orders that are fair to parents and their children.