What If I Have the Children Half the Time. Do I Get a Break on Child Support?
Okay, men. Here’s the #1 question we get:
What if I have the children half the time, do I get a break in child support?
Here’s my answer:
Under Massachusetts child support guidelines, there’s an assumption that the parent who receives child support has two-thirds of the parenting responsibility. But, if the obligor, the person who pays child support, is responsible for between a third and a half of the parenting time, the court is going to do a calculation twice. They’ll run through the guidelines and the worksheet once like it’s normally done, but then they’ll do it a second time by finding an average of the normal calculation by each of you running it and finding the average. That’s how they handle it in that case.
Now, what if each parent has approx. half of the parenting time?
Well, support is determined by calculating the guidelines for each of you and finding the middle ground. I want to offer a warning—a big warning. Judges can spot a parent who wants more time just to lower his or her child support. It won’t work. Any recipient who has more than two-thirds of the parenting time, he or she can get an upward deviation of support. Why? Because they’re with the children more and it’s the right thing.
Support is handled differently in every court. The law is the same everywhere, but judges interpret the law and apply the facts differently. That’s why you need a law firm that assigns attorneys to the different regions of the courts charged with understanding how the judges each handle their cases. That’s what we do at Miller Law Group.
Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation about child support in your case.