The 2021 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Task Force worked together to adjust benefits after urging from child support advocacy groups stating that the averages weren’t high enough to cover rising medical and childcare costs. Prior to 2021, the trend in child support awarded had been decreasing, and 2021 shows a pretty substantial increase, especially for those families with multiple children. Single-child families won’t see as much of an increase.
What Are Other Important Changes to Note in 2021?
Prior to 2021, there was an existing cap, set at 15%, for changes to existing child support orders. This meant that if there were significant health issues or childcare changes, some of the costs associated with those changes/issues wouldn’t necessarily be accounted for if they exceeded 15%. With the new 2021 guidelines, reasonable child care costs are shared by the parents in proportion to their income. In simple terms, if one parent makes 80% of the household’s income, they are responsible for 80% of the childcare costs. The 15% cap was also eliminated for health care costs and replaced with the ability to deduct the cost of family health care/enrollment that is paid by that parent from their gross annual income. These changes can seem complex, but as a team with multiple cases like these under our belt, O’Connor Family Law is confident in our ability to help you with the 2021 changes. In some cases, these changes can result in a significant increase in the amount of child support that is awarded, and we are happy to walk you through how these changes may affect you and your family
What If These Increases Make My Income No Longer Sufficient ?
One notable change to the new 2021 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet is the inclusion of a section noting whether or not the support calculated is higher than 40% of the payor’s gross income. There is no mandate in place for deviation if this occurs, but it is in place to alert the judge of such a high percentage. Working with a trusted law firm to accurately calculate your income and note if the amount is greater than 40% can help convey a clear and concise perspective when heading into court.
How Can O’Connor Family Law Help Me to Prepare For These Changes?
We represent clients from a multitude of backgrounds in all aspects of family law. We have several years of combined experience and are here to help you every step of the way as you learn if and how these changes may affect your child support. We are confident in our ability to help, and we like to pass on that confidence to you so you can rest assured knowing some of the most important aspects of your life, your children, and your income, are handled with respect and care. Contact us today at (774) 315-4220.