Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
Local 413-315-5518
Toll Free 877-622-6089

Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Child Support Archives

Representing high earners in child support disputes

As a previous post discussed, many people who live fairly ordinary lives may earn over $250,000 a year between the parents. The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines do not account fully for those over this amount. If this is the case, it is often prudent for a parent to retain the services of an experienced attorney. Support will be, to some extent, determined by the facts and circumstances of each parent, and these will have to be effectively presented to the judge who is hearing the child support case.

Options for servicemembers, veterans behind in support

When people in Springfield, Massachusetts, hear discussions about the enforcement of a child support order, they are often thinking about what can be done to a parent who does not pay. However, there are also circumstances in which a well-meaning parent who is facing some temporary hardships deserves protection from the full consequences of the state's child support enforcement powers.

How do I get a child support order changed?

Child support orders depend heavily on each parent's income and other changeable circumstances, so what may have been a fair child support order at one time may, over the months or years, become no longer reasonable. For example, parents in Massachusetts may change jobs or take on a different role in their company. There also may be other changes, like the cost or even availability of health insurance. There also may be changes in how much time each parent is spending with the children, a factor that can also influence child support.

Child support guidelines and special needs children

This blog has discussed how various aspects of the family law in Massachusetts apply when a Springfield parent is trying to parent a child with special medical, educational or other needs on his or her own. This post will discuss the way parents, with the help of their attorneys, can get a fair child support order that accounts for their child's special needs.

What can you do if you think the other parent could earn more?

As previous posts here have discussed, how much income each parent brings in has a lot of bearing on how much child support a Massachusetts court will order each parent to pay. However, a parent might wonder what they can do if the other parent seems to be able to pay more child support, yet on paper it appears that they make relatively little money and thus should, under the applicable guidelines, not pay a lot of child support. It is an unfortunate fact, after all, that some parents play legal tricks in order to unfairly lower their child support payments, even though this ultimately hurts their own children.

What counts as "income" for child support purposes?

A previous post on this blog talked about how, in Massachusetts, each parent's income plays an important role, perhaps the most important role, in a judge's decision about how much child support the parent who is not going to live in the home with the child will pay.

When does child support end in Massachusetts?

During the period of time that a child is considered a dependent of their parents they are, under the law, entitled to receive financial support for their maintenance and upbringing. Child support is derived from both parents with the noncustodial parent making payments to the custodial parent based upon an agreement or juridical order that dictates the amount and schedule that payments are to follow. Child support from one's parents may end at different points in a child's life and this post will examine some of those common events.

Parents' income is an important factor for child support

From time to time Massachusetts residents may read about celebrity child support orders that include payments that extend into the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. These child support orders may seem astronomical to everyday men and women who work hard to provide for their families, but generally the amount of money that a parent will pay in child support will correspond to the amount of income that they earn.

When does child support end in Massachusetts?

It is important for readers of this Springfield family law blog to understand that child support determinations are made based on the specific needs of children. As such, the factual situations of a reader's case will play a huge role in the outcome of their support matter. This post only provides a general overview of Massachusetts law and how it relates to the termination of child support.

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