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When kids require more than child support payments

Single parents in Massachusetts may rely on child support payments to provide the essentials for their kids, but sometimes child support is not enough to cover everything. Parents who are going through divorce and expect to receive child support payments are advised to consider what child support will cover and how much extra money raising a child could take.

In some states, child support laws mandate that child support cover certain expenses, such as education or medical bills. It is uncommon for laws to mandate that child support cover extracurricular activities for children, such as music lessons, sports equipment or travel. A parent who receives child support may be able to choose to spend the money as they see fit, but they can also expect to have to pay for some things out of pocket for their children.

Child support payments are determined by considering the income of both parents. Other factors in the decision after a divorce include the standard of living that the child experienced when the parents were married, and in all cases any special needs of the child are considered. A parent who expects to have full or primary custody could consider budgeting for single parenthood by considering what child support will cover and what extras will need to be provided.

When child support is determined, it is possible to have the amount modified later. Either parent can request modification of child support. In Massachusetts, the monthly amount of child support is generally determined by the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, though a court does have the power to set an amount that is either above or below the determination based on these guidelines. A family law attorney may be able to help divorcing spouses navigate laws such as these. A lawyer may also be able to help a divorcing couple to negotiate their child support situation through mediation.

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