Child support is very important, and is used to provide a custodial parent with income that can be used to pay for a child’s clothing, shelter, medical expenses, basic needs, extracurricular activities, and more. However, child support isn’t a perfect system, and when a parent is unable to make their child support obligations, the consequences can be serious and disadvantageous for both the parent and child alike. For low-income fathers who are struggling to make child support payments in Massachusetts, modification of a child support order may be appropriate. Here’s what you should know about modifying a support order and how our lawyer can help–
How Child Support Amounts Are Set
If one parent in Massachusetts has custody of a child, the other parent will be responsible for making child support payments. The amount that the noncustodial parent will owe in child support is determined by the incomes of both parents, the number of children being supported, and then a series of other considerations, such as child care costs, maintenance/alimony payments, etc. At the time that child support guidelines are set by the court, it is important to be transparent with the judge about one’s income and assets.
Low-Income Fathers and Child Support in Massachusetts
For fathers who cannot make child support payments because of their lack of income, the system is not always favorable; instead, fathers who fail to make payments may face additional financial consequences, as well as consequences that impact the relationship they have with their child. For this reason, if you are a low-income father who cannot make your child support payments, it is very important that you work with a lawyer from the get-go. An attorney can help you to secure a child support order that is just. What’s more, should you become low-income after a child support order has already been issued, your attorney can advise you of what steps to take and how to pursue a modification of your court order.
Grounds for Modifying a Child Support Order
If a person cannot make their child support payments, merely ceasing to pay is not a good option, and one that could have consequences. Instead, you should seek a modification of a support order. A father can seek a modification of a child support order when they have experienced a significant change in circumstances. For example, losing one’s job and being unable to secure a new one, or suffering an injury that results in a diminished earning capacity, are examples of significant changes in circumstance.
Get Help from a Massachusetts Child Custody Lawyer Today
To learn more about your rights as a low-income father who is faced with paying unaffordable child support, reach out to the law office of Heather Ward Law today for a consultation with a family law attorney. Attorney Heather M. Ward is a fathers’ rights advocate who can help you to make sense of the law and pursue a fair child support order. Reach our law firm today online or by phone at (617) 903-8955.