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How does a second job affect child support?

Many people in Springfield, Massachusetts take second jobs, or do extra hours at their first jobs, in order to make ends meet. Sometimes, this is just a matter of having a little extra spending cash in one’s wallet, while at other times a family literally cannot pay the bills without one of the members working a second job.

When a family splits through divorce or, in the case of an unmarried, just an informal parting of ways, the fact that a person has a second job at the time of breakup can impact child support. This is because, to some extent, the family may have relied on that extra income for their living expenses, and children have the right to continue to receive support commensurate with that extra income.

However, judges in Massachusetts do not have to include all, or even any, of the additional income from a separate job in a child support calculation. Whether a judge chooses to do so in her discretion will depend on a number of factors. For instance, a judge may be less likely to include this sort of income if it is temporary in nature. Other considerations may also apply to one’s situation, and these can be discussed with one’s family law attorney.

Jobs or overtime that Massachusetts resident picks up after a divorce or separation receive slightly different treatment. Because the state does not wish to require a person to pay more child support because they took the initiative to pick up a second job so as to pay child support, income overtime and second jobs that are taken after a support order is entered will generally not be considered in the support calculation.