In a Massachusetts divorce, a variety of issues will come to the forefront and could be the foundation for dispute. Even after the case has been decided upon and the orders have been made and agreed to, people can still face challenges.
That might include a non-custodial parent having trouble meeting the child support obligations. There could be reasons for this. Understanding how the inability to pay child support will impact the supporting parent is important. Having legal advice on what steps to take can be key.
It can turn into a serious issue if the supporting parent is unable to pay child support. If a parent cannot make the payments based on the child support order, it is considered a violation. However, either parent is legally allowed to ask for a modification.
There are several reasons why this can be done. They include: a change to the income of either parent; a change to the child custody arrangement; or if there are changes to either parent’s health care coverage.
The parents can ask for a review to determine if there should be a modification. The state has a guideline that it used to first decide on the child support and this will again be used to calculate the new amount, if applicable. There are many factors that will be considered. That includes the parents’ income and their ability to earn income; how many children they have; the children’s ages; and how much health care costs.
It is up to the court to make the changes to the child support order. The individual cannot unilaterally decide to pay a reduced amount. If the payments are not made as they should be prior to a potential modification, the supporting parent could be considered in violation of the child support order and penalties could be assessed.
Since child support and other areas of divorce and family law can be complicated and lead to acrimony, having legal assistance may be crucial whether it is for an agreement modification, child support enforcement and more.