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Understanding the Massachusetts 2018 Child Support Worksheet


FIRST: REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING


1. All the numbers in the worksheet are WEEKLY. To figure the weekly amount from a monthly number, divide the monthly number by 4.33 (not by 4).

2. Record FULL pre-tax weekly BASE salary (not including bonuses or commissions, these are treated separately outside the worksheet, because they are unpredictable).

3. Massachusetts child support applies only to combined incomes up to $250,000 /year, but you plug in the full weekly gross. The worksheet will only use weekly numbers that conform to the $250k limit.

SECOND: USING THE WORKSHEET


1. First indicate if you have the child/ren roughly equal amounts of time, or if one of you has the child/ren most of the time.

2. Write your names. The name on the left should be of the Party who is likely to get child support.

3. Daycare costs and permiums get deducted from the incomes, including health insurance premiums that insure the parties themselves.

4. If your combined gross incomes exceed $250,000, you will see that although you have plugged in the full real gross weekly incomes to begin with, the worksheet only assumes a combined income of $4,808 /week (line 3a), which is $250,000/52. It applies the correct ratio of your incomes to this number.

5. The combined incomes that exceed $250,000 (if any), is shown in item 8 on the bottom of page 2 of the worksheet. How this excess income is dealt with is subject to negotiation between the parties (it can be ignored or applied to alimony: it is the parties' choice, in the context of a search for fairness).

6. The first number shown (3b) assumes it is the family budget for one child, not the required child support. This number is increased if there are more minor children. The worksheet then figures how much of the child related budget of the family applies to each parent, depending on the ratio of their incomes (2h).

7. This ratio of incomes is then applied (Page 2) to each other's premiums and childcare costs , yielding, finally, the child support order (7).

THIRD: FINAL NUMBERS


- Finally: Who pays child support?

- The parent with primary physical custody of the children (has the children consistently more than half the time), will get the full amount indicated on the worksheet.

- If physical custody is close to equal, the party with the higher income will pay child support. This amount is actually the difference between the child support order that is applied to him/her and the child support order that applies to the other parent.