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Massachusetts Child Support

Child support is a topic that can have a very polarizing effect on both parents.  All single parents with children should have a basic understanding of child support. Unless parental rights have been legally terminated, every parent in the U.S. must contribute financially to the raising of his or her child.

Both parents have an obligation to provide for their children financially.  Likewise, a child has a right be supported by his or her parents. In situations where one parent is the primary caregiver for of the children and the children reside more than 50% of the time with that parent, that parent’s responsibility is fulfilled by being the custodial parent. The other parent then makes a child support payment which fulfills that non-custodial parent’s financial responsibilities to make sure that the children’s needs are met. 

Not Paying Support As Ordered

A non-custodial parent sometimes believes that child support money will be wasted by the custodial parent somehow on frivolous expenses that are not related to the children.  In some cases, the non-custodial parent would prefer to give gift cards for groceries or purchase clothing for the children in lieu of a weekly cash child support payment. Once a child support order is entered by the court however, this type of arrangement will not be used to satisfy a child support obligation.  

Withholding Child Support

There are occasions when a custodial parent will not honor custody or visitation orders, and there is the temptation to withhold child support until the other parent pays up. This is not allowed, and the court will not be pleased if this happens. Child support payments and parenting time are considered to be totally separate issues in Massachusetts and one will not affect the other. An obligation to financially support your children will remain intact, regardless of any visitation issues.

A guardian who has custody of a child or children when both parents are unable or unwilling to care for their children can also petition the court for an order of child support to them to be paid by either or both parents.  

All the facts about your child support situation are waiting for you right now at our offices. In many cases, we are able to perform these divorces for a flat fee. All email messages are responded to in a timely manner.  Call us today at 978-851-2291, or contact us online. 

For your convenience, appointments may be scheduled during flexible hours. Our office is centrally located in Tewksbury near Route 93 and Route 495. We serve clients in Middlesex and Essex County.