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Massachusetts Child Support Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: How long does a judge have to sign and file a judgement after a child support hearing in Massachusetts?

My court hearing for child support was 27 days ago yet I still haven’t received the judgement in the mail, neither have the courts or DOR.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Nov 22, 2022

It depends on the type of hearing. If it was a divorce trial where child support was just one of many issues, it would take a few (or more) months. If it was a hearing where DOR was seeking support on the other parent's behalf, it should be much quicker. It also depends on the county you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I pay child support weekly to my ex for our two kids. She requested a joint account for sports. She ask to up the sport

account monthly. Which I did. Our children are 14-16 she has now interfered with my custody cause I moved in with my Girlfriend. Now wants to modify the agreement so I pay more on top of the sports account. Because she has made it so my girls won't come visit me. Changing the child support... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Nov 18, 2022

The Court can award a Modification of child support if material income changes have occurred and sharing of living expenses is a change in circumstances that may justify Modification.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Parties agree to contribute to child's educational expenses ~according to their respective abilities at the time."

Ambiguous. Who decides ability? Can parent have a savings account or be concerned someone is going to say "S/He has money?" Child is 20 years old in college and is capable of supporting self but lives with one parent.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Oct 17, 2022

A child in college full-time is not considered to be emancipated and the duty to pay child support and make college contribution exists. Where there is an indefinite percentage or sum indicated there is likely a basis for court review in a Modification proceeding. The current Massachusetts child... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I got served divorce papers an never responded. Never new when court was he got awarded everything. Can it be changed?

He never told me when court was never knew. He got the house an full custody. He never told me. I found out I was legally divorced because I got kicked off his insurance. Can anything be changed with my property?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Sep 12, 2022

Why did you not respond? Were you in the hospital the entire time??

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I deny my wife's request for an increase in child support since we are still married and do not have a court order?

I am married, but have been separated from my wife for 15 years. We have two children together, so I have been paying child support per a verbal agreement between my wife & I. She has raised my payments many times over the years any time her rent increased. Now, both children are over 18 and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 30, 2022

You are not under any Court Order and there is no proceeding pending in any Court correct? Then everything you have done is voluntary and the longer you stay married the more complicated your divorce get!!! If you die then she is your heir!!! Get a lawyer contact pro bono law school programs.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I let my 17 year old son go from Massachusetts to North Carolina to visit his father his father agreed to bring him home

now his father is telling me he's no longer going to let him come home what are my rights I've been raising him for the last 17 years and his father owes over $100,000 in child support in Massachusetts what can I do to get my son back legally?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 1, 2022

If you are the primary custodial parent he is in Contempt and a Contempt Complaint should be filed in the Court where your custodial orders were established ASAP with a Motion and Affidavit for Emergency hearing to have the child brought back to Massachusetts also potentially has also violated... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Modification of child custody and child support

Can I modify child custody and support if I went from 5 overnights to 7 overnights plus taking them till 7 at night 4 other nights? And have my kids all day on Sunday while my ex is at work. Yea he only days. Don’t see them are tuesdays and every other Saturday, other then that they are with m... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 17, 2022

It sounds like you have a good argument for modification. If you think your ex will retaliate, just be sure you really want to kick the hornet's nest. If your kids are doing well with the current arrangement, it may be worth it to suck it up even though you feel she is taking advantage of you.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to file for child support. Do I need a lawyer for that??

Husband left to PR and hasn't given any support to our son, since he left in 2020.

We are living w/some family and can use the help. How long does it take to file for child support? Thank you

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 7, 2022

You would either need to file for divorce or file a Complaint for Separate Support if you do not want to file for divorce.

With either of those, you can file a motion for temporary orders, which would include child support and anything else you would want a judge to address on a temporary...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: If I have property in Puerto Rico, will it be part of division in divorce filing, if you have jurisdiction in PR?

I live w/ my son in MA and my husband lives in PR, in our property. Can I get a divorce in MA, which doesn't include the property in Puerto Rico. How long can the divorce process take?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 4, 2022

Has husband lived in Massachusetts at all? If he never had any contacts with Massachusetts it would probably be better to contact a domestic relations practitioner there.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I file for child support for my 18 year old high school student with severe mental illness

My daughter has lived with me full time for 4 years. My ex had sole custody of her legally. He hardly gave me any financial support. Since she has turned 18 he refused to help with her. She is still in high school and has a severe mental illness. I have tried taking him to court about a year ago... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 25, 2022

So the child has not graduated from high school and may have special needs also. There should be child support in accordance with the child support guidelines and you may need to once the child has completed high school seek contribution for the child's continued care via equity petition... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: have full custody of 2 of my children, they have been staying with their father for last 60 day, does he pay me still

have full custody of 2 of my children, they have been staying with their father for last 60 day, does he pay me still

Per judge on 3/18 and DCF I still have 100% custody nothing ever changed

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 20, 2022

Until the order or Judgment is modified by the Court it is still in effect.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Is my ex husband responsible for child support from the time of the order or from the time DOR gets involved?

We got an order back in January. I had no idea that I had to apply for services through the DOR, I thought they just kind of did their thing. Now I finally have the DOR involved, but they said they’re only responsible from now on. Does he still owe from the 14 weeks since the order was made? Or... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 19, 2022

Yes, he owes the 14 weeks during which he neither paid MDOR nor you. You may use the MDOR to proceed with a Contempt to enforce the back child support order/calculate the arrears. You will need to complete their application for same.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a woman put the last name of a man she is not married to on her child's birth certificate if she is still married?

My male relative (D) is having a child with a woman (S) who is separated from her husband (K) but still legally married. Can D legally put his last name on the child's birth certificate even though S and K have not finalized their divorce?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Mar 3, 2022

The presumption is that the child is born of the marriage, but the parties can agree that the child is not of the parties along with the biological father. The prospect of paying for a child not his own is usually an inducement to cooperation by husband, but what is bio father's willingness...

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can wife’s ex-husband just stop paying child support and decide what he’s going to pay? In MA

He said he’s going to stop paying for 21 year old who is going in to her 5th year of full time college. She still resides with us and we pay a 99% of her expenses. He said he’s going to cut child support in half because the have two children. He said he went to lawyer and because he has two new... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 2, 2022

The ex-husband can't unilaterally make changes to child support, no matter the reason. It can only be done via a court order. That court order could be the result of a written agreement by the parties to make changes or from a judge after a hearing, but the ex would be in contempt if he just... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an unmarried mother of two children request retroactive child support when initially filing for child support?

Seeking retroactive child support back to the date the kids and I moved out. (4-5 years ago). We were never married and he is the father- on the birth certificate of both children.

This is a new child support request. We previously had a verbal agreement for weekly payments that he has not... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 11, 2022

Usually, a retroactive order can only go back as far as the date the opposing party was served with the complaint for child support. If there has never been an order previously, you may have the ability to argue for retroactive support back to the child's date of birth, but it would depend if... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to provide information to my child’s father if he hasn’t been in their life for over 6years?

My child’s father has not been in their life for over 6years. During that time I have had them full time with no help from him in any way. He does not pay any child support. He does call about once a month. Recently he has been asking for their information everything from school/medical records... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Dec 31, 2021

There sounds like a lack of relationship over a lengthy period of time and the Court is sensitive to the effect of father's suddenly attempting to regain contact where there had been no regularity. Asking for contact information about other people is indeed odd and really not your information... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Ex stopped paying child support because he had one and I had one. His is 19 and out of his house. Mine is 17.

We had five. When third turned 18 he stopped support because he had one and I had one. Now I am only one with dependent child. Can I get support?

Kim Carnevale
Kim Carnevale
answered on Sep 24, 2021

Massachusetts child support laws allow for child support and educational expenses payments even after your child turns 18 and up to 23 years of age. The court looks at whether your child is “principally dependent” upon one parent which is usually understood to mean that the adult child lives... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my child support be modified if my income hasn’t changed?

My child support was modified to increase and I never received a court hearing notice nor has my income changed.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Sep 3, 2021

You should first contact the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division and have them review your account. Sometimes if there is an arrears balance the amount changes. If you have no arrears, it is possible that the timing of the payments got off track somewhere and they needed to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Civil Rights and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: What do I do if I’m paying child support and being denied visitation rights to my daughter
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Sep 3, 2021

If you have a visitation order or a Judgment that states the terms of visitation and are being denied visitation , then there appear to be grounds for a Contempt action unless there is something happening which is inimical to the child's best interests in which case the custodial parent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: am I entitled to half our house if bought 5 months before wedding?

We have been a couple for 20 years, married 14 years. We lived together for 5 years prior to buying a house 5 months before our wedding. The house was initially in his name because he had better credit at the time. We refinanced recently and I am secondary on the mortgage. Am I entitled to half?

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos
answered on Aug 26, 2021

Maybe, it depends on all of the factors surrounding your divorce and living together prior to marriage. The Judge must consider about 15 factors then decide what an equitable division of all the assets would be.

You want to consult with an experience divorce attorney who will review the...
Read more »

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