The new Child Support Guidelines (CSG) go into effect on September 15th. Here, in outline form, is a summary of the primary CSG Factors.
Child Support Guidelines Factors:
Important factors considered in making an order for child support (CS) include the following:
Alimony and unallocated support
An order, if based on relevant tax consequences presented by a party, may designate money for support of a child to be alimony or unallocated support. p8 (This refers to the relevant page in the 2017 CSG.) However, gross income considered for a child support order cannot be considered for an alimony order.p9
The first $250,000.00
The CSG calculations apply to combined incomes of up to $250,000.00. The CSG calculation for the combined $250,000.00 should normally be the presumed minimum order. Support over this amount is discretionary.p9 The court may consider the excess in setting an order for the payment of extra-curricular activities, private school, summer camp, etc.p14 and for post- secondary school costs and orders in excess of the UMass minimum (See below.).
The CSG calculations are based on the child(ren) having a primary residence with one parent and spending approximately 1/3 of their time with the other parent. There is a rebuttable presumption that the resulting calculation shall be the order.p9
Where parents share equally or approximately equal financial responsibility and parenting time, then a special calculation is done.p10
If the non-residential parent’s parenting time is substantially less than 1/3 of the child’s time, then the court may deviate upwards in the support order.
Child Care and Health Care Costs
In most cases, the Guidelines’ worksheet will automatically adjust for these costs.
Children 18 or over
First, 18 year olds still in high school are considered not yet 18. After leaving high school, child support is discretionary with the court.p10 It is not presumed.
In deciding whether to order child support, the court will consider all relevant factors, including those listed in the Guidelines.p11 One consideration will be whether or not the child is in a post-secondary educational program, if so, the judge will consider the costs involved (see below) and then consider the impact of an order for child support and an order for education costs.
Contribution to post high school costs
Orders for contribution toward post high school education costs are discretionary – it is not presumed.p11 The judge will consider all relevant factors surrounding college or vocational costs and the impact of both a child support order and an education contribution order.
If an order of contribution is made, it cannot exceed, for each parent, 50% of the undergraduate, in state, costs for a UMass-Amherst student; unless the court makes findings that a parent can afford to pay more.
You can read the Guidelines yourself at The New Child Support Guidelines.