If you don't know what "deviation" is and are just trying to get the standard child support numbers for September 15, 2017 to June 14, 2018, you should use this September 15, 2017 MA Child Support Calculator. If you want the standard child support numbers for hearings after June 15, 2018, you should download this June 15, 2018 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.
This deviation calculator may be helpful for two, specific situations:
1) For couples with 50-50 parenting time who pay health or child care costs and find that the MA September 15, 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet "double counts" health and child care costs and thus distorts the overall child support amount.
2) For couples who have children both under 18 and over 18 receiving child support and are frustrated by bizarre outcomes from the MA September 15, 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, such as child support decreasing when they list more children on the Worksheet.
This calculator corrects problems in the MA 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Specifically, a) it avoids the “double counting” of health care and child care costs that occurs in the Guidelines Worksheet; b) it corrects errors when a combination of children under-18 and children over-18 are entered into the Guidelines Worksheet at the same time; and c) it corrects the error at line 4g that occurs when certain combinations of numbers are entered in lines 4d and 4e. You can see a discussion of these errors in a MA Lawyers Weekly article. Please feel free to contact Attorney Julia Rueschemeyer with any questions you have about divorce mediation or uncontested divorce.
Even though the MA 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet has obvious, significant errors, the numbers that it gives are the standard, presumptive numbers that courts expect. If you were to use the numbers from this deviation calculator you would have to give your reasons for deviation in form CJ-D 305 “Findings and Determinations for Child Support and Post-Secondary Education.” Specifically, at the top of page 3, in the section entitled, “DEVIATION – Section IV. Of the 2017 Child Support Guidelines,” you would have to explain why you are agreeing to Child Support numbers that deviate from the numbers generated by the MA September 15, 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.
Accounting for Health and Child Care Costs in MA Child Support
Take the example of a couple who have one child, identical incomes ($2500/week), and 50-50 custody. If Spouse A pays $100/week for health care and childcare, it is obvious how to share this cost: they have equal incomes and equal custody, so they should equally share the $100/week for health and child care costs. This would mean Spouse B should reimburse Spouse A $50/week, so that each is contributing $50/week.
When this scenario is run through the MA 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, however, Spouse B is required to reimburse Spouse A $118. So instead of each spouse paying $50, Spouse B pays $118 and Spouse A , not only doesn’t pay a penny, but makes a profit of $18! (And if Spouse A is paying the $100 insurance with pre-tax income, the profit could be more like $40.)
When this scenario is run through the MA 2013 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Spouse B is required to reimburse Spouse A $16. So instead of each spouse paying $50, Spouse A pays $84 and Spouse B pays $16.
This 2017 Deviation Calculator has parents in 50-50 custody situations share Health and Child Care costs based on their percent of income after application of child support. If their incomes, after application of child support, are equal, then they share the costs equally. If a parent has 25% of the income after cross-guideline child support, that parent is made responsible for 25% of the health and child care costs in the final calculation. If a parent has 57% of the income, that parent is made responsible for 57% of the health care costs in the final calculation.
The 2017 Deviation Calculator disentangles Health Care and Childcare costs from the initial child support calculation.
- It first figures child support as if there were no health care or child care costs. It uses the standard “cross-guidelines” because it is a 50-50 case.
- It then applies this child support amount to the incomes of the two spouses.
- It then calculates the percentage of total income that each spouse has after child support payments and uses this percentage to determine how much of the health care and childcare costs each parent should pay.
- The calculator then compares how much each parent actually pays for health care and child care with the amount each spouse should pay, based on their percentage of income.
- The difference between what they actually pay and what they should pay determines how much to adjust the weekly child support amount up or down, producing a final figure.
Instructions for Using this Child Support Deviation Calculator
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.
e) Enter i) gross weekly income for each spouse, ii) the weekly amount paid by each spouse for childcare, iii) the amount paid by each spouse for family or individual health care insurance each week, iv) the amount paid weekly by each spouse toward the CHILD’s vision or dental insurance, and v) the amount each spouse pays out weekly for alimony or child support from a previous relationship or marriage.