By virtue of federal mandate, Massachusetts has enacted Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines have been revised many times, and most recently in January 2009. The Child Support Guidelines, when they apply to your case, use your income, the income of your child’s other parent, and certain child-related expenses (such as daycare costs and health insurance) to determine the amount of support the so-called “non-custodial” parent should pay to the “custodial” parent (that is, the parent with whom the child (ren) lives primarily.)
You should know that Child Support may be an issue in your case, even if your child(ren) has reached the age of eighteen. Typically, support ends or is substantially reduced when the children reach “emancipation”. “Emancipation” usually occurs when a child finishes college or when the child becomes self-supporting, whichever is earlier.
The Commonwealth’s website provides additional helpful information about the Child Support Guidelines, including a fillable form that you can use to calculate child support based on different income assumptions.
The current Child Support Guidelines apply in many, but not all, situations. Feel free to use the sidebar to email me regarding your specific question.