For many Natick kids, getting through each day is an adventure of new experiences, appropriate challenges and opportunities for fun. They have chances to play with their friends and to bond with their parents and siblings. Though some children are burdened with stresses through their familial and educational settings, most live the relatively carefree lives that children are meant to live.
Some children, however, struggle with challenges that far exceed the normal problems American children generally face. Children afflicted with significant health and medical problems must endure the physical and mental pain of coping with their ailments in addition to the regular issues children of their age must overcome. When children afflicted with serious medical conditions split their time between two different homes, the maintenance of their medical care can become a struggle for their custodial parents.
Health care in American is expensive, and Natick parents dealing with the medical expenses of their ailing children may find that the child support payments they are receiving are insufficient to cover the bills their children’s doctors send. When a child is afflicted by a serious medical condition that imposes emotional and financial strain on his custodial parent’s life, that child may have the right to additional support from his noncustodial parent.
Massachusetts courts look at the best interests of the child in child support cases to determine if the commonwealth’s child support guidelines meet the child’s needs. When a child’s needs change due to medical treatments and doctors’ visits, more support may be warranted to provide him with the care needed to address his ailments. The Walters Law Offices can offer guidance to individuals facing this overwhelming burden. Changing child support orders is possible, and in the case of an ailing child, doing so can serve the child’s best interests.
During their divorce, the parents of a Massachusetts child may decide to settle child support matters related to that young person’s care. Courts generally look to the Commonwealth’s child support guidelines and base their determinations on the factors included therein. However, in some cases, Massachusetts courts can go against the child support guidelines and make their own independent child support determinations, when those determinations serve the children’s best interests.
Under the general laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is a rebuttable presumption that, when applied correctly, the child support guidelines provide the right amount of support for a child. A parent may overcome this rebuttable presumption. Nonetheless, by showing that the support established by the guidelines is either too high or too low for the needs of the child. In those cases, a court must provide several pieces of information to make its own support decision.
First, the court must provide the amount of support that the guidelines would give to the child in question. Second, the court would have to assert that the guidelines are insufficient to address the circumstances of the particular case. Third, the court would have to offer the case-specific information that would justify overriding the guidelines’ determinations. Fourth, the court would have to show that going against the guidelines served the best interests of the child subject to the support determination.
If a court can establish these four factors, it can make its own support decision about how much financial support a child should receive. The child support guidelines are not always accommodating to the financial needs of every child or the many special circumstances that can arise when parents split while raising a child. Individuals who would like to learn more about child support and the Massachusetts support guidelines can work with family law attorneys who practice in their communities.