• Alan Jacobs

Two Important Changes from the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court

The Probate and Family court has released the 2021 revision of the Child Support Guidelines, effective October 4, 2021.

Some key new changes:

  • The Guidelines leave to the Judge's discretion (and parties' agreement) whether alimony or child support would be calculated first and suggests making alternate calculations.

  • Maximum combined income is increased to $400,000.00; Child support on income over this amount shall be at the Court's discretion.

  • Maximum percentage set for child support on combined income over $400,000.00;

  • Maximum amount for weekly child care to be deducted is set.

Also, the Probate and Family court will no longer require parents of children under age 18 to take a court-mandated parenting class. The court was transparent in its decision that after almost 30 years of this requirement:

  • There is no real evidence that the Parent Education class is effective in producing the desired goals;

  • Most states do not have this requirement;

  • Massachusetts had been treating divorced and unmarried parents differently in its requirements;

  • The Parent Education providers have not been adhering to the Guideline requirements and administration of the program is burdensome for the courts.

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