Bridgewater Child Support Establishment and Enforcement
Massachusetts requires a Child Support Order to enforce the payment of child support. Support is based on a calculation pursuant to the formula provided in the law.
Child Support and Divorce
Child support issues must be addressed prior to the finalization for your Complaint for Divorce. The Court cannot enforce any actions until a Complaint has been filed. Support can be retroactive dated back to the date of the filing of the Complaint but it does not date back to the separation of the spouses.
Child Support and Paternity
Child support is established through a Complaint for Paternity or a Complaint for Custody, Support and Visitation. In a Paternity matter, support can be retroactive to the date of birth of the child, regardless of the child’s age.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts may bring a Child Support Action if the custodial parent has applied for and/or received Transitional Assistance (welfare) benefits.
How Much Child Support Can I Expect to Pay?
The Massachusetts Guidelines are based upon both parents Gross Weekly Incomes. Although there is a presumption that the Guideline is the appropriate amount of support, deviations to the guideline can be made in some situation such as: joint custody agreements, the length of time the non-custodial parent visits with the child and extraordinary travel expenses to visit with the child.
Can I modify my support order?
Child support can be modified based upon a significant change of circumstances of either of the parties. For example, if the payor is laid off from his/her job, a Complaint for Modification should be filed as soon as possible. A Court Order needs to be granted to modify the Child Support Order. An “agreement” between the parties without a Court Order may not be enforced.
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Swanson & Moors, LLC services all of Plymouth County, Bristol County, Norfolk County, and Barnstable County.