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Do high-asset parents have to follow child support guidelines?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Divorce |

When high-asset parents decide to part ways, the question of child support often arises. Massachusetts offers a framework for determining appropriate payments in many situations.

However, whether high-income parents follow these guidelines can vary significantly.

Massachusetts guidelines

Massachusetts bases child support guidelines on a combination of the parents’ incomes and the needs of the child. These guidelines provide a formula for calculating support payments. They take into account factors such as the parents’ incomes, any childcare expenses, health insurance costs and the child’s specific needs.

Complexities in high-asset divorces

In high-asset divorces, determining income can be complex. High-earning individuals may have income from various sources, including investments, business ownership and other assets. Parents must account for all sources of income to calculate child support accurately.

Deviation from guidelines

Massachusetts guidelines provide a starting point for calculating child support. However, deviations from these guidelines are not uncommon in high-asset divorces. Courts may consider factors such as the standard of living the child would experience if the parents remained together, as well as any special needs or expenses the child may have.

Negotiated settlements

In many high-asset divorces, negotiated settlements determine child support amounts. This allows parents to work together to reach an agreement that takes into account their unique circumstances and the needs of their child. Any negotiated settlement must still meet the child’s needs and comply with state guidelines.

Whether through negotiated settlements or court orders, ensuring that child support arrangements meet the needs of the child is the priority.