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2017 Massachusetts Child Support Calculator
This Child Support Calculator uses the 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, which took effect September 15, 2017. This calculator is new, so if you find any bugs in it, please let me know! Please feel free to contact Attorney Julia Rueschemeyer with any questions you have about divorce mediation and uncontested divorce.
To use this calculator, simply:
a) Enter a name for yourself and your spouse (fake names are fine)
b) Enter the number of children under age 18 that you have together
c) Enter the number of children you have together who i) have turned 18 but not yet turned 23 and ii) live with you or are supported by you. If a child is still attending high school, treat the child as under 18.
d) Indicate the amount of time that the child spends with each parent by choosing from among 3 choices: about 50% time with each parent, about 1/3 of the time with you and 2/3 of the time with your spouse, or about 2/3 of the time with you and 1/3 of the time with your spouse. Choose the one that is closest to your situation, even if it doesn't match it. Unfortunately, the state does not provide formulas or exact guidelines for any custody percentages except for these three. If a spouse has the child much less than 1/3 of the time, a judge may increase child support above the amount calculated here.
e) Enter weekly income for each spouse and how much each spouse spends per week on childcare and health care and on alimony or child support paid out for a previous relationship or marriage.
To use this calculator, simply:
a) Enter a name for yourself and your spouse (fake names are fine)
b) Enter the number of children under age 18 that you have together
c) Enter the number of children you have together who i) have turned 18 but not yet turned 23 and ii) live with you or are supported by you. If a child is still attending high school, treat the child as under 18.
d) Indicate the amount of time that the child spends with each parent by choosing from among 3 choices: about 50% time with each parent, about 1/3 of the time with you and 2/3 of the time with your spouse, or about 2/3 of the time with you and 1/3 of the time with your spouse. Choose the one that is closest to your situation, even if it doesn't match it. Unfortunately, the state does not provide formulas or exact guidelines for any custody percentages except for these three. If a spouse has the child much less than 1/3 of the time, a judge may increase child support above the amount calculated here.
e) Enter weekly income for each spouse and how much each spouse spends per week on childcare and health care and on alimony or child support paid out for a previous relationship or marriage.
b) How many children under age 18 do you have together?:
c) How many children do you have together (and you are still supporting) that have turned 18 but not yet turned 23?:
d) Which of the following three choices is closest to describing the amount of time the children spend with each parent?
About 33% with Petitioner B and 67% with Petitioner A
About 50% of the time with each parent
About 33% with Petitioner A and 67% with Petitioner B
e) Gross weekly income:
Child Care cost each week:
Health Insurance cost each week:
Dental/Vision cost each week:
Weekly alimony or child support paid out to a previous marriage:
Deviation Child Support Results, Adjusted for Health, Care and Child Care Costs
pays
If neither parent paid any Health Care or Child Care costs, the Child Support amount would be $ from to .
Based on their gross incomes after Child Support payment is taken into account, OVERpaid $ for Health and Child Care costs, and UNDERpaid $ for Health and Child Care costs.
The initial Child Support number that is calculated without Health and Child Care ($) is therefore adjusted by $ to give a final Child Support amount of $
CALCULATIONS FOR ADJUSTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT FOR HEALTH AND CHILD CARE COSTS
Income after child support payment is made, assuming there were no health care costs:
Percent of gross income after child support payment but not factoring Child Care and Health Care costs:
Health and child care costs paid:
should pay % of total Health and Child Care costs, which equals:
should pay % of total Health and Child Care costs, which equals:
Difference between what paid and what should pay for Health and Child Care:
Difference between what paid and what should pay for Health and Child Care:
Final child support amount from to , adjusted for Health and Care costs:
Below are the calculations that lead to the child support amount. The numbering and description of each line come directly from the Massachusetts Probate Court's CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET, which is a required document for divorce and child support cases and can be downloaded from the link here.
Below are the calculations that lead to the child support amount. The numbering and description of each line come directly from the Massachusetts Probate Court's CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET, which is a required document for child support and divorce cases. Because you indicated that each parent will have the children about 50% of the time, you will see two sets of calculations. The first one calculates child support as if had most of the parenting time, and the second one calculates child support as if had most of the parenting time. The actual presumptive ("expected") payment in this 5050 custody situation is the mathematical difference between the two calculated amounts, with the higher income spouse (typically) paying this difference. This calculation is shown at the bottom of the page.
CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATION  to
1. NUMBER AND AGES OF CHILDREN
a. Number of children under age 18
b. Number of children 18 years or older who may be eligible to be covered by this order
c. Total number of children to be covered by this order
2. INCOME
Bob as RECIPIENT
Jennifer as PAYOR
a. Gross weekly income
b. Minus Child care cost paid
c. Minus Health care cost paid
d. Minus Dental/vision insurance cost paid
e. Minus Other support obligations paid
f. Available Income (Ignoring 2b, 2c, 2d)
g. Combined Available Income
h. Share of combined available income
3. PROPORTIONAL SUPPORT AMOUNTS
a. Applicable available income
b. Support amount for one child
c. Adjustment for number and ages of children covered by this order
d. Combined support amount
e. Minus Recipient's share of support
f. Payor's share of support
4. ADJUSTMENT FOR CHILD CARE AND HEALTH CARE COSTS
Bob as RECIPIENT
Jennifer as PAYOR
a. Child care and health care cost paid
b. Payor's share of Recipient's cost
c. Minus Recipient's share of Payor's cost
d. Payor's new cost
e. Maximum adjustment amount
f. Adjustment applied to order
g. Adjustment applied to order
h. Payor's adjusted share of support
Adjustments for Child Care and Health Care are made at the bottom of this page under the heading Final Calculation of Presumptive Child Support with 50% Parenting Time for Each Parent
5. ADJUSTED WEEKLY SUPPORT AMOUNT
a. Support as % of Recipient income (based on line 3f)
b. Payor's adjusted weekly support amount
6. ADDITIONAL INCOME ABOVE $4,808
a. Combined additional income
b. Share of combined addtional income
End of CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET
Weekly Child Support Payment from to
This next set of calculations use the same calculations and worksheet as the one above, but this time it treats as having most of the parenting time.
CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATION  to
1. NUMBER AND AGES OF CHILDREN
a. Number of children under age 18
b. Number of children 18 years or older who may be eligible to be covered by this order
c. Total number of children to be covered by this order
2. INCOME
as RECIPIENT
as PAYOR
a. Gross weekly income
b. Minus Child care cost paid
c. Minus Health care cost paid
d. Minus Dental/vision insurance cost paid
e. Minus Other support obligations paid
f. Available Income (Ignoring 2b, 2c, 2d)
g. Combined Available Income
h. Share of combined available income
3. PROPORTIONAL SUPPORT AMOUNTS
a. Applicable available income
b. Support amount for one child
c. Adjustment for number and ages of children covered by this order
d. Combined support amount
e. Minus Recipient's share of support
f. Payor's share of support
4. ADJUSTMENT FOR CHILD CARE AND HEALTH CARE COSTS
as RECIPIENT
as PAYOR
a. Child care and health care cost paid
b. Payor's share of Recipient's cost
c. Minus Recipient's share of Payor's cost
d. Payor's new cost
e. Maximum adjustment amount
f. Adjustment applied to order
g. Adjustment applied to order
h. Payor's adjusted share of support
Adjustments for Child Care and Health Care are made at the bottom of this page under the heading Final Calculation of Presumptive Child Support with 50% Parenting Time for Each Parent
5. ADJUSTED WEEKLY SUPPORT AMOUNT
a. Support as % of Recipient income (based on line 3f)
b. Payor's adjusted weekly support amount
6. ADDITIONAL INCOME ABOVE $4,808
a. Combined additional income
b. Share of combined addtional income
End of CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET
Weekly Child Support Payment from to
FINAL CALCULATION OF PRESUMPTIVE CHILD SUPPORT WITH 50% PARENTING TIME FOR EACH PARENT
These calculations find the difference between what would pay if had most of the parenting time and what would pay if had most of the parenting time. The higher income spouse (typically) pays this calculated difference as child support to the other spouse.
Presumptive Payment from to
Presumptive Payment from to
pays this amount each week
If a) you have 5050 custody and you are finding that this calculator gives strange outcomes or b) you have children both under 18 AND over 18 and find this calculator giving strange outcomes, you might consider looking at this 2017 MA Deviation Child Support Calculator.
If you are interested in how current Massachusetts child support calculations compare to calculations from before September 15, 2017, you can use this older calculator based on August 2013 Child Guidelines.
If you need to divide a defined benefit pensionthe kind of pension that many school teachers, state employees, and federal employees haveyou can try this instant, $20 present value pension calculator. Accountants charge $175 or more for a pension present value calculation, and it typically takes 12 weeks.
The 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Fail Math:
The State Child Support Guidelines Worksheet generates the wrong outcomes in all calculations that include children under18 and over18 at the same time
Posted by Professor Benjamin Bailey, September 18, 2017
[email protected]
If you appreciate the work I have done here, I ask that you add a link to this page on your blog, website, or article.
The 20162017 Child Support Guidelines Task Force modified Massachusetts child support laws. One modification specified that the amount of child support for many eligible children between 18 and 22 should be reduced by 25%. Unfortunately, the economic consultants hired by the Task Force failed to do the high school level math correctly, and they created a table of numbers to use in child support calculations in which half of the numbers are wrong.
This means that as of September 15, 2017, every child support calculation that involves a) at least one child under 18 AND b) at least one child over 18 will give wrong results, resulting in lower child support payments than the Task Force intended. These errors are most obvious in cases where adding an additional child to the calculator LOWERS your overall support. The Task Force intended for additional children over 18 to increase overall child support, but to increase it by less than it would increase by adding a child under age 18. Instead, in four cases, it actually LOWERS the overall child support award.
The guideline child support amounts are only correct in cases where all the children are under 18, or when all the children are over 18. If both kinds of children—over 18 and under 18—are put into the Child Support Guideline Worksheet at the same time, the presumptive child support outcomes are wrong.
If you would like to see this for yourself, run the following 3 family scenarios through the 2017 Massachusetts CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET. The parents’ income stays the same in all three families, and there are 3 children under 18, who remain constant, in all three families. In Family B, a child over 18 is added to the existing 3 children under 18. In Family C, two children over 18 are added to the existing 3 children. Adding children results in actual, total child support decreasing, from $538 in Family A with 3 children, to $531 in Family B with 4 children, and $519 in Family C with 5 children.
Family A:
Number of Children:
3 children under 18
0 children 1823
Income (same in all 3 families):
Recipient income is $500/week; Payor income is $2000/week
Result:
$538 week presumptive child support payment
Family B:
Number of Children:
3 children under 18
add 1 child 1823
Income (same in all 3 families):
Recipient income is $500/week; Payor income is $2000/week
Result:
$531 week presumptive child support payment
Family C:
Number of Children:
3 children under 18
add 2 children 1823
Income (same in all 3 scenarios):
Recipient income is $500/week; Payor income is $2000/week
Result:
$519 week presumptive child support payment
As you can see, adding more children DECREASES the amount of child support ordered. This is a math error. It was not the intention of the Task Force, as described in their actual CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES document.
[email protected]
If you appreciate the work I have done here, I ask that you add a link to this page on your blog, website, or article.
The 20162017 Child Support Guidelines Task Force modified Massachusetts child support laws. One modification specified that the amount of child support for many eligible children between 18 and 22 should be reduced by 25%. Unfortunately, the economic consultants hired by the Task Force failed to do the high school level math correctly, and they created a table of numbers to use in child support calculations in which half of the numbers are wrong.
This means that as of September 15, 2017, every child support calculation that involves a) at least one child under 18 AND b) at least one child over 18 will give wrong results, resulting in lower child support payments than the Task Force intended. These errors are most obvious in cases where adding an additional child to the calculator LOWERS your overall support. The Task Force intended for additional children over 18 to increase overall child support, but to increase it by less than it would increase by adding a child under age 18. Instead, in four cases, it actually LOWERS the overall child support award.
The guideline child support amounts are only correct in cases where all the children are under 18, or when all the children are over 18. If both kinds of children—over 18 and under 18—are put into the Child Support Guideline Worksheet at the same time, the presumptive child support outcomes are wrong.
If you would like to see this for yourself, run the following 3 family scenarios through the 2017 Massachusetts CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET. The parents’ income stays the same in all three families, and there are 3 children under 18, who remain constant, in all three families. In Family B, a child over 18 is added to the existing 3 children under 18. In Family C, two children over 18 are added to the existing 3 children. Adding children results in actual, total child support decreasing, from $538 in Family A with 3 children, to $531 in Family B with 4 children, and $519 in Family C with 5 children.
Family A:
Number of Children:
3 children under 18
0 children 1823
Income (same in all 3 families):
Recipient income is $500/week; Payor income is $2000/week
Result:
$538 week presumptive child support payment
Family B:
Number of Children:
3 children under 18
add 1 child 1823
Income (same in all 3 families):
Recipient income is $500/week; Payor income is $2000/week
Result:
$531 week presumptive child support payment
Family C:
Number of Children:
3 children under 18
add 2 children 1823
Income (same in all 3 scenarios):
Recipient income is $500/week; Payor income is $2000/week
Result:
$519 week presumptive child support payment
As you can see, adding more children DECREASES the amount of child support ordered. This is a math error. It was not the intention of the Task Force, as described in their actual CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES document.
Where does the error come from?
The errors all come from having the wrong numbers in “TABLE B: ADJUSTMENT FOR NUMBER AND AGES OF CHILDREN,” a table at the bottom of the CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET, which looks like this:
The erroneous numbers are introduced into the Worksheet at Line 3.c "Adjustment for number and ages of children covered by this order." A smaller number in this spot in the Worksheet results in a lower presumptive child support amount, and a larger number results in a larger presumptive child support amount. All of the erroneous numbers in Table B are too small, resulting in presumptive child support numbers that are too small.
This table with errors was created on pp. 2021 of a document called Economic Review of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, 20167, which was created by economic consulting groups. (I wonder how much they were paid?) I will explain where their logic and math went wrong in the section below.
First, note that the first column (from 1.00 to 1.48) and the first row (from .75 to 1.11) ARE correct. It is only the numbers that result from combining children both over18 and under18 that are incorrect.
Even cursory examination of Table B shows that the numbers don’t make sense. As you can see, numbers in the first row grow larger as you move to the right, and numbers in the first column grown larger as you move down. This makes sense, because as you have more children, child support payments increase. But if you look at the rows that start with 1.25, 1.38, and 1.45, the numbers start going down when you add more children!!
A more complicated way to see it is to think about how much you get for adding a child. If you have one child under 18, you get “1”. If you have two children under 18, you get “1.25”, which is 25% more. So adding a second child (under 18), gets you 25% more than you would get for just having one child.
If you have a child under 18 and you add a child over 18, you should get almost as much as for having 2 children under 18. You should get exactly 25% less for adding the child over 18 than you would get for adding a child under 18. This means you should get 75% of the “under18secondchildincrease”. In other words, you should get 75% of .25 (this is the standard increase for a second childsee below), which is .1875, rounded to .19. So the number in Table B for 1 child under 18 with 1 child over 18 should be 1.19, in the spot where the current table has an erroneous 1.09.
This table with errors was created on pp. 2021 of a document called Economic Review of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, 20167, which was created by economic consulting groups. (I wonder how much they were paid?) I will explain where their logic and math went wrong in the section below.
First, note that the first column (from 1.00 to 1.48) and the first row (from .75 to 1.11) ARE correct. It is only the numbers that result from combining children both over18 and under18 that are incorrect.
Even cursory examination of Table B shows that the numbers don’t make sense. As you can see, numbers in the first row grow larger as you move to the right, and numbers in the first column grown larger as you move down. This makes sense, because as you have more children, child support payments increase. But if you look at the rows that start with 1.25, 1.38, and 1.45, the numbers start going down when you add more children!!
A more complicated way to see it is to think about how much you get for adding a child. If you have one child under 18, you get “1”. If you have two children under 18, you get “1.25”, which is 25% more. So adding a second child (under 18), gets you 25% more than you would get for just having one child.
If you have a child under 18 and you add a child over 18, you should get almost as much as for having 2 children under 18. You should get exactly 25% less for adding the child over 18 than you would get for adding a child under 18. This means you should get 75% of the “under18secondchildincrease”. In other words, you should get 75% of .25 (this is the standard increase for a second childsee below), which is .1875, rounded to .19. So the number in Table B for 1 child under 18 with 1 child over 18 should be 1.19, in the spot where the current table has an erroneous 1.09.
What should the numbers in Table B look like?
The numbers for Table B are not hard to calculate. I have not had math since high school, but I was able to put formulas into a spreadsheet and generate the correct numbers in about 15 minutes. (Did I ask already, how much the economic consultants got paid?)
The correct numbers for Table B should look like this:
The correct numbers for Table B should look like this:
As you can see with even a quick scan, the numbers always go up if you move to the right across a row. In other words, you always get more child support if you have more children, even if you only get a little more for adding a 4th or 5th child. This is the intention of the child support law.
A little explanation of the logic and math:
Child support does not double for having two children instead of one, or triple for having three children instead of one. Child support increases by legally set, fixed percentages that decrease for each successive child. Assuming the children are under 18, it increases by 25% for a second child; 10% for a third child; 5% for a fourth child, and just 2% for a fifth child. These rates of increase have been set by law since at least August 2013.
The 2017 law specifies that children over 18 should count for 25% less than younger children in child support calculations. Thus if one moves from 1 child under 18 (which generates “1” in Table B), to 1 child under18 PLUS 1 child over18, one simply has to add 75% of the normal 25% increase one gets for a second child. If one has 2 children under 18 (which generates "1.25" in Table B) and one adds a third child, over 18, one simply adds 75% of the normal 10% increase that one gets for a third child.
You can see these formulas by downloading the spreadsheet here that I used to make these Table B calculations.
[Added on October 1113:
The economic consultants did not understand the implications of the fact that the intervals between 0 and 1 children, 1 and 2 children, 2 and 3 children, etc. were not identical. The formula they used to generate their (erroneous) Table B would only work if the increase for each child (under 18) from 0 to 5 were exactly the same, i.e., if a second child doubled the child support amount, a third child tripled it, a fourth child quadrupled it. For their formula to work, the increase from 0 children to 1 child would ALSO have to match the interval from 1 to 2 children, 2 to 3 children, etc.
The economic consultants' explanations and sample calculations on pp. 2021 of their Economic Review document show how they arrived at the wrong numbers for Table B. Instead of adding discounted increments for children over 18, as I have done, they tried to discount backward from the numbers in column 1, which are the multipliers for children under 18. This led them to discount children under 18 in every single calculation that involved a mix of children over and under 18. There is no situation in which children under 18 should have their child support number discounted.
In the example they give on p. 21, for 1 child under18 and 1 child over18, they discount the "1.25" that one gets for 2 children under 18. They do this by multiplying it by .875, a discount of 12.5%. (This results in their erroneous 1.09.) They write, "Conceptually, it reduces the increase for a second child by 12.5 percent (onehalf of the 25% discount decided by the Task Force) because one of the two children is 18 or older." This makes two major conceptual errors. First, there is no need to discount an increase for an over 18 child by 12.5%the Guidelines are clear that the increase should be discounted by 25%. Second, they confuse the increase for a second child with the total child support number for two children. The "1.25" for 2 children is NOT an increase. One child gets "1". The increase for a second child is ".25", resulting in "1.25" for two young children. These two conceptual errors lead them to discount both the increase (".25", a small number, which should be discounted) and the base number for children under 18 ("1", a large number, which should NOT be discounted). This is what leads to numbers that are too low in every case. To give a poor, mixed metaphor, they discount the bathwater (children over 18), and then they discount the whole baby (children under 18) too!]
If you appreciate the work I am doing here, please add a link to this page on your blog or website: http://www.amherstdivorce.com/machildsupportcalculator.html
A little explanation of the logic and math:
Child support does not double for having two children instead of one, or triple for having three children instead of one. Child support increases by legally set, fixed percentages that decrease for each successive child. Assuming the children are under 18, it increases by 25% for a second child; 10% for a third child; 5% for a fourth child, and just 2% for a fifth child. These rates of increase have been set by law since at least August 2013.
The 2017 law specifies that children over 18 should count for 25% less than younger children in child support calculations. Thus if one moves from 1 child under 18 (which generates “1” in Table B), to 1 child under18 PLUS 1 child over18, one simply has to add 75% of the normal 25% increase one gets for a second child. If one has 2 children under 18 (which generates "1.25" in Table B) and one adds a third child, over 18, one simply adds 75% of the normal 10% increase that one gets for a third child.
You can see these formulas by downloading the spreadsheet here that I used to make these Table B calculations.
[Added on October 1113:
The economic consultants did not understand the implications of the fact that the intervals between 0 and 1 children, 1 and 2 children, 2 and 3 children, etc. were not identical. The formula they used to generate their (erroneous) Table B would only work if the increase for each child (under 18) from 0 to 5 were exactly the same, i.e., if a second child doubled the child support amount, a third child tripled it, a fourth child quadrupled it. For their formula to work, the increase from 0 children to 1 child would ALSO have to match the interval from 1 to 2 children, 2 to 3 children, etc.
The economic consultants' explanations and sample calculations on pp. 2021 of their Economic Review document show how they arrived at the wrong numbers for Table B. Instead of adding discounted increments for children over 18, as I have done, they tried to discount backward from the numbers in column 1, which are the multipliers for children under 18. This led them to discount children under 18 in every single calculation that involved a mix of children over and under 18. There is no situation in which children under 18 should have their child support number discounted.
In the example they give on p. 21, for 1 child under18 and 1 child over18, they discount the "1.25" that one gets for 2 children under 18. They do this by multiplying it by .875, a discount of 12.5%. (This results in their erroneous 1.09.) They write, "Conceptually, it reduces the increase for a second child by 12.5 percent (onehalf of the 25% discount decided by the Task Force) because one of the two children is 18 or older." This makes two major conceptual errors. First, there is no need to discount an increase for an over 18 child by 12.5%the Guidelines are clear that the increase should be discounted by 25%. Second, they confuse the increase for a second child with the total child support number for two children. The "1.25" for 2 children is NOT an increase. One child gets "1". The increase for a second child is ".25", resulting in "1.25" for two young children. These two conceptual errors lead them to discount both the increase (".25", a small number, which should be discounted) and the base number for children under 18 ("1", a large number, which should NOT be discounted). This is what leads to numbers that are too low in every case. To give a poor, mixed metaphor, they discount the bathwater (children over 18), and then they discount the whole baby (children under 18) too!]
If you appreciate the work I am doing here, please add a link to this page on your blog or website: http://www.amherstdivorce.com/machildsupportcalculator.html
More errors, discovered by others, in the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet and Task Force
Posted by Professor Benjamin Bailey 10/4/2017
Gabriel Cheong reports a calculation bug in the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. If the numbers in lines 4d and 4e are opposites of each other (e.g. 50 and 50; or 13 and 13; or 43 and 43), the logic in the calculator fails at line 4g and enters a "0" instead of a positive value of 4d or 4e. Line 4g specifies: "If 4(d) is < $0, enter the positive value of 4(d) or 4(e), whichever is less; otherwise enter zero". When the positive values of 4d and 4e are the SAME, such that one is not LESS than the other, the calculator thus returns a "0" . This problem will occur relatively rarely, but it can have large consequences, e.g., nearly $3000/year in Cheong's example. The calculator of Attorney Julia Rueschemeyer, at the top of this page, does NOT make this error.
A problem that will affect many more people is the doubleweighting of expenses entered under 2b2d in cases of 5050 custody. In cases of shared custody, a person who pays medical/dental/vision/childcare, can actually PROFIT from those payments. This problem was first reported on September 20 by Michael Freedman in a comment at the bottom of the page of a Skylark blog post. As Freedman illustrates, in a shared custody case, a person who pays $100 for a child's medical expenses, can be paid back $118 for that expense! This issue is discussed at greater length in a blog post by by Jason Owens. In brief, the Task Force did not want relatively high childcare and health costs to overly affect child support child support payments that are otherwise based largely on difference in income between spouses, so they limited the effect of such childcare and health payments to an adjustment of 15% of a given child support figure (See Section II.E. of Report of the Task Force for the 20162017 Quadrennial Review of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines). As Freedman points out, however, in shared custody situations, this 15% limit is applied twice, through crossguidelines:
"I have recently reviewed the new CS guidelines and have found what I believe to be an oversight in how the healthcare cost is shared between parties in the case where custody is shared equally. When calculating first with the recipient paying healthcare, the 15% rule is applied to a large order because it is for sole custody and the recipient's order grows to accommodate that. Then the roles are reversed and the payor now pays the healthcare. The 15% rule is again applied to a large order because it is for sole custody and the payors order is decreased by that larger number. Then when you take the difference between the two orders, the one who pays the healthcare is benefited by potentially a 30% offset in their favor. But that 30% is based on a sole custody order, not the actual order that would result from taking the difference in orders without the healthcare taken into account."
Coverage of these issues in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Problems with the implementation of the new 2017 Child Support Guidelines are discussed in an October 19 article by Kris Olson in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
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