While it can be thought of as a blessing that many people in Springfield, Massachusetts, earn a lot of money, high income earners have some special issues with which they have to deal when they are trying to establish a child support order.
This is because the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines only contemplate parents' income up to $250,000 a year combined. Within these limits, someone can apply the Guidelines to get a basic idea of how much the parents will pay toward a support obligation and what the responsibility of each parent is with respect to this obligation.
Beyond $250,000, however, a child support order depends on what is called the discretion of the judge. While the judge will use the amount of child support parents who make $250,000 as a starting point, it is up to him or her to review the family's circumstances and decide how much more support, if any, a parent should pay.
One does not have to be a billionaire in order to earn more than $250,000 a year, as many doctors, lawyers and other professionals, as well as even moderately successful business owners, can easily earn $250,000, particularly in a two-income family. This means that ordinary Massachusetts residents can find themselves facing a situation in which a judge will look at the big picture and make what is in reality his or her best guess with respect to child support.
Because such decisions involve the individual facts and circumstances of one's case, it often important to have the help of an experienced attorney with a thorough knowledge of Massachusetts' child support rules and practices.