Press Release

Press Release  Trial Court Issues New Child Support Guidelines

New guidelines go into effect on June 15, 2018
For immediate release:
5/18/2018
  • Executive Office of the Trial Court
  • Probate and Family Court

Media Contact for Trial Court Issues New Child Support Guidelines

Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MATrial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey today announced the promulgation of amended child support guidelines and guidelines worksheet, which take effect on June 15, 2018. These amendments are a result of a Trial Court review conducted after issues were raised regarding the application of the adjustment factors for children 18 years of age or older, and the adjustment for child care, health care coverage, and dental/vision insurance costs when parents share financial responsibility and parenting time approximately equally. 

The June 2018 amendments eliminate counterintuitive outcomes in support orders for four or five children, at least one being 18 years of age or older. The age adjustments in the September 2017 Table B were based on applying the 25 percent discount listed in the guidelines in equal proportion to the number of children 18 years of age or older. The age adjustment percentages in the June 2018 Table C are based on applying the 25 percent discount to the oldest children last. That is, the 25 percent discount is applied only to the increases in child support for additional children, rather than to the overall amount of support. Children 18 years of age or older are accounted for last in this calculation to fully preserve the increases in child support for additional younger children. Because of the change in the application of the adjustment, some child support orders will increase if there is at least one child 18 years of age or older.

The redesigned worksheet allows for one worksheet to be used regardless of whether the parenting plan is shared, split, or approximately 2/3 and 1/3. It is no longer necessary to use multiple worksheets to determine the child support amount when there are shared or split parenting plans.   

The June 2018 amendments do not address the 2018/2019 changes to the federal tax code with regard to alimony and dependency exemptions. These will be examined by the next task force.

The amended guidelines and the fillable worksheet will be posted on mass.gov on May 22nd. A memo from an economic consultant that explains the adjustment factors in detail will also be posted on May 22nd. 

UPDATE: The Child Support Guidelines have been posted and are available online at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/child-support-guidelines.

 

###

Media Contact for Trial Court Issues New Child Support Guidelines

Executive Office of the Trial Court 

The Executive Office of the Trial Court facilitates communication and enables joint leadership of the Trial Court by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Court Administrator.

Probate and Family Court 

The Probate and Family Court Department handles matters involving families and children, like divorce, child support, and wills.

Feedback

Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? * required
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.

If you need to report child abuse, any other kind of abuse, or need urgent assistance, please click here.

Tell us what you think