Every state in the country has some legal mechanism to help ensure that a child is supported financially when their parents divorce or separate. Because most states have adopted a uniform set of federal child support laws, many of those systems are similar, though not necessarily identical. In Massachusetts, the family court system uses a process known as the 'child support guidelines' to determine how much money a non-custodial parent should pay to support a child. But why do these guidelines exist, and why are they the way they are?
Most parents in Massachusetts can tell you that taking care of a child is a life-long commitment. While, for most purposes, society treats people as adults when they turn 18-years-old, this does not always mean they can be completely independent at that point. This may be especially true in coming years as educational expectations continue to climb and undergraduate degrees become more and more expensive. When parents have ended their relationship with each other prior to a child's 18th birthday, there may be questions with regard to whether a non-custodial parent is to continue ordered child support payments once the child turns 18.
Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. While parenting is a special time in any adult's life, it is also very expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its findings on what it would cost to raise a child born in 2015 based on a variety of factors that affect middle-class families. The numbers may affect what parents in Springfield are asking or requested of in child support, in order to cover the expenses of child-rearing.
You would do just about anything for your child. This is true of parents living separately and parents who live together with their child. The difference for separated parents is that they have to balance raising their child from separate households. This can be tricky for the primary custodial parent, especially when they do not receive the court-ordered child support from the other parent.
When it comes to your child's well-being, there isn't anything that a Springfield parent wouldn't do. With regard to financial support and the amount a child should receive from a non-custodial parent, how much is enough? Maybe you are going through the child support process for the first time, or maybe you are considering a change in circumstances that could affect your child support amount. Regardless, parents can usually agree that financial support is key to a child's growth and success.
Child support is a touchy topic for many Massachusetts parents. Sometimes, after the divorce decree has been issued with the topic of child support determined, it can take a lot more than the divorce decree to get applicable parents to pay their share. Sometimes this is due to a parent's change in circumstances or an emergency situation that is a temporary set-back in their child support payments. However, some parents are consistently late with their child support payments to the point where the receiving parent must take action.
Families with children of special needs aren't much different from families who do not have special needs children. This is especially true in terms of divorce. Even parents of special needs children have issues that they sometimes cannot resolve. If you are the parent of a special needs child, you may wonder if child support determinations are different due to the extra care your child requires?
When co-parenting a child from separate households, it can definitely be a challenge. Coordinating schedules, long-term planning and a child's activities and after-school expenses can become a whirlwind for even the most organized parent. Somewhere in all of this, a primary custodial parent often receives child support from the child's other parent. However, occasionally, child support payments can become delinquent.
Children of divorced parents are extremely common today; this includes children pursuing their dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal. Famous Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was a child of divorce, as are many others in pursuit of their Olympic dreams. But, what does the financial situation look like for Mom and Dad when their financial lives have splintered and their son or daughter is going for gold? The average child support payment will not even begin to cover the types of training, equipment and travel costs related to pursuing an Olympic dream.