When families are separating, the topic of financial support and the amount that should be paid can become divisive and contentious. For the most part, financial support will come in the form of either child support or alimony, and in rare circumstances both.
Murphy & Rudolf, LLP provides knowledgeable and compassionate legal services to help you seek a beneficial solution. Call our Worcester family law attorneys today at (508) 744-3038 for a free consultation.
Raising children is a financial commitment that works best when both parents contribute. Children are entitled to financial support from both parents, and the non-custodial parent normally pays child support on a weekly basis either directly to the other parent or through the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. The parent that receives the child support can use the money as he or she deems appropriate to support the child, and this support is not considered taxable income and will not affect the recipient’s tax bracket.
Child support can be determined in two ways. The parents can either agree to an amount of child support or ask a Probate and Family Court judge to decide. In either case, the appropriate amount of child support is calculated using a worksheet, which takes relevant factors into consideration. The guidelines of this worksheet, however, do not account for every possible financial scenario that parents may face, and sometimes the amounts need to be carefully analyzed and adjusted.
An award of alimony is not guaranteed in Massachusetts, but the parties can either reach an alimony settlement or leave it up to the Probate and Family Court judge. Normally, the amount of alimony spousal support awarded is between 30%-35% of the paying spouse’s income.
Unlike child support, there is not one standard alimony calculator used to determine alimony payments, and alimony is always paid directly to the recipient spouse. At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, our Worcester family law attorneys can walk you through the process and help you seek a beneficial settlement.
There is no comparable agency to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue that can provide enforcement of alimony through wage assignment or any other mechanism. Furthermore, alimony is considered taxable income to the recipient and therefore can have an effect on the tax bracket. Courts consider factors such as the length of the marriage, age of the parties, marital lifestyle, lost economic opportunity, employability of both parties, and the amount and sources of income for each party.
Call our Worcester family lawyers at (508) 744-3038 today for more information.