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2017 New Child Support Guidelines

child waitingEvery 4 years, the probate and family court issues a new set of Child Support Guidelines.  The changes are meant to reflect economic realities, changes in the law, and help to clarify how child support amounts are set in Massachusetts.

Notable Changes to the Child Support Guidelines:

Minimum Presumptive Order

If a payor doesn’t make enough money to pay the child support order, there is still a minimum amount that is to be paid. That presumptive amount has been $80/month for quite some time.  The new Guidelines have raise this minimum amount to $25/week.

Age of Children

The age of the children now matters in the child support calculations. The normal Guidelines apply when a child is under the age of 18.  If a child is 18 years old and still going to high school, normal guidelines still applies.  For children over the age of 18 until 23 years old, there is now a 25% discount in the amount of child support to be paid.

Parenting Time

In the 2013 Child Support Guidelines, the task force created a method to calculate child support when parenting time of the payor was greater than one-third but less than 50/50 joint custody.  The new 2017 Guidelines eliminates this altogether.

Child Care and Medical Costs

Child care and medical insurance costs, just like how it’s always been, are given a dollar-for-dollar deduction off the parties’ respective gross income.  However, the new change is that there is now a proportional credit for these items that’s applied to the child support figure with a 15% cap.

Base Order

It’s important to note that the base order (calculations using Table A) does not change in the 2017 Guidelines from the 2013 Guidelines.

These new Guidelines are going to be effective September 15, 2017.  If there is a difference between the amount of child support you’re paying versus the new Guidelines, you may be eligible to apply for a Modification of your child supportGive us a call for questions.

We will also be updating our Massachusetts Divorce App by September 15, 2017 so that it will calculate the new Guidelines.