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Child Support

Who Has To Pay Child Support?

In most cases, the parent with whom the child lives most of the time (custodial parent) receives child support from the other parent (noncustodial parent).

How Is Child Support Determined?

In Massachusetts, child support is based upon both parents’ gross income as well as other considerations, including health care and child care costs, the number and ages of children, and the amount of parenting time. The court uses the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines to make child support determinations.

How Long Will Child Support Continue?

Typically, child support will remain in place until the child is legally emancipated (either at age 18 or 23 if the child is a full-time student and dependent on the parent for support). 

Can Child Support Be Changed?

Yes, parents can petition the court to modify a child support order, provided that there has been a material change in circumstances. This change typically occurs when the income of a parent or the needs of the child change significantly.