Addressing Child Support And Alimony
At my practice, Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law, I work to resolve child support and spousal support (alimony) matters in favor of clients throughout Worcester County. While resolving child support and alimony disputes can be relatively straightforward, there are times when they can be financially complex.
My many years of experience in the field of family law helps me to quickly determine what needs to be done to work to achieve a satisfactory outcome for my client. I am committed to achieving your goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. This includes issues related to:
- Determination of the required child support or alimony level
- Enforcement of child and spousal support orders
- Modifications in child support
- Modifications of existing alimony obligations
- Paternity as it relates to child support
For more information and to schedule a consultation, please call me at 508-471-3281.
How Child Support Is Decided
Child support is decided according to a standardized formula, Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, that evaluates certain factors such as custody, income of either spouse, lifestyle and needs of the child. This keeps the child’s best interests as the priority and provides a sense of fairness in supporting the child’s needs. Generally, the parent who provides the primary residence for the child receives payment from the other parent.
Over time, if the income or circumstances of the parents change, this amount can be reevaluated to reflect those changes. A modification can also be requested if the needs of the child change over time, including medical situations or extraordinary expense.
Alimony Has Become More Complex
Unlike the case with child support, alimony, also known as spousal support, may or may not be required as part of an overall divorce settlement. In 2012, Massachusetts enacted the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, which provides specific guidelines as to the amount and duration of alimony depending upon the length of the marriage and the age of retirement for the paying spouse. The Alimony Reform Act changed how parties negotiated their marital separation agreements and gave way to modifications and litigation for already existing obligations.
The recent Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 complicated matters somewhat by drastically changing tax law for alimony payments. For divorce decrees dated Jan. 1, 2019, or later, alimony payments are no longer deductible for the payer, and the payee may not pay taxes on the payments received. Many couples are finding that they need the help of tax experts to review their situation.
As you can see, changes in the law can have a big effect on your divorce decree or negotiated settlement. As an attorney with over 30 years of experience, I can evaluate your situation and recommend the right course of action for you. As your attorney, I can also deal with post-divorce actions as they relate to modifications and contempt actions of current alimony awards.