How Do Judges Rule on Child Support?
Each state has child support guidelines and based mainly on income. There are twenty-eight different forms of income, where everything is considered as income.
In Massachusetts, income only goes up to $250,000 and parenting time must be taken into consideration. College and medical insurance also are taken into consideration. Like always, though, it is important to know your court and know your judge!
How do judges rule on child support? Each state has child support guidelines which are presumed to be equitable. They are presumed to be fair. They work like this: It starts with worksheets and guidelines. For example, in Massachusetts, it starts with income, how to calculate income and how income is defined. There are 28 definitions of income for child support calculation purposes. Number 28 says “anything else not mentioned above,” which means anything and everything is income for child support purposes.
For child support in Massachusetts, we also have the issue of attribution and deviation. If you’re not working to your full potential, a judge can attribute an additional amount of income to you, even if you’re not earning it. The judge can order you to pay based on what you could be earning, not what you are earning.
There are also issues of deviation. You can deviate for purposes like unique needs of a child, or extraordinary medical costs, or a parent who has extraordinary travel expenses to deal with when it comes to parenting.
In Massachusetts, income only goes up to $250,000 and consideration of parenting time is something that could make the child support go up or down. Furthermore, as of 2013, college costs were considerations that went into child support to a point where any support over the age of 18 is really looked at under the microscope. Medical insurance is something that is also going to be paid and co-pays are the responsibility of the recipient (the person receiving the child support) for the first $250 a year. Child support cases are fact- based. Know your judge because every judge has wide discretion and can interpret the law differently.