Massachusetts parents who are divorcing may wonder what will happen when the noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay child support does not do so. While there are methods of enforcing child support payments, parents who are genuinely unable to meet their obligations could find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty and incarceration.
When someone gets a divorce, they may assume that they do not have the right to claim spousal Social Security benefits. However, there are a number of situations where someone may still claim spousal benefits as well as survivor's benefits, and there are even circumstances where a person may be able to claim them if they remarried.
Conflicts about parenting plans, child or spousal support and property division are common in Massachusetts divorces. You may be among those who are planning on how you will deal will these issues. While you can bring these issues to a judge, you may be considering a method of alternative dispute resolution known as mediation.
Massachusetts parents may be surprised that 'deadbeat moms," or those who fail to pay child support to the custodial parent, aren't that rare. The 2011 U.S. Census reports that less than 20 percent of fathers had custody of their children, with only a quarter of these dads having child support agreements in place. In comparison, 50 percent of custodial mothers had support agreements.
As Massachusetts residents may know, child support may be determined in part by the income of both parents during and after their marriage. Additionally, courts often seek to provide a sense of security and consistency for the child. In Illinois, the child's lifestyle during the parent's marriage is taken into consideration. This has become a pivotal issue in the child support dispute between billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin and his wife.
In Massachusetts, parents who are required to pay child support must continue to make payments until the support order is terminated. There are several circumstances under which a child support order can be legally ended. In many cases, the payments must continue until the child is legally considered an adult. However, there may be circumstances under which payments can be ended before that time.
Many Massachusetts residents are Facebook users and are aware of the types of information that can be found on such a site. For divorce lawyers, some of this material can be important when dealing with contested issues such as spousal or child support. If an individual claims that he or she is unemployed, it could be damaging if the other spouse's attorney found a picture of that individual buying a large car or a new house.
Parents who are receiving child support in Massachusetts are obligated to use the funds they receive to pay for their child's expenses. Although the court normally does not ask custodial parents to prove how they are using the money, the parent would be required to do so if the child's basic needs were not being met.
Rather than a set percentage, the amount of child support paid by a non-custodial parent in Massachusetts is determined on a case-by-case basis. Courts use a set of guidelines in determining this amount, many of which relate to the income of each parent. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide for the best interests of the child while recognizing the parents' financial situations as well as monetary and non-monetary contributions to the child's welfare.
In the state of Massachusetts, establishing paternity is an important process when a child is born out of wedlock. Paternity must be officially established and recorded before a court can decide on issues like child support payments, custody and visitation. Fortunately, there is a well-defined process in the state for establishing paternity. The child's parents simply need to file the appropriate paperwork with either the clerk in the city where the child was born or the registrar of vital records.