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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29220
Experience:  29 years as a family law lawyer .
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Hello...I have a question about a child who will be 20 years

Resolved Question:

Hello...I have a question about a child who will be 20 years old in July. He lived with me for the past 20 years. He has now decided to live with his father. He left the house out of anger. He was not doing well in college and did not want to hear it. I'm not sure if he will continue his studies in September. His father served me papers last week telling me he is taking me to court for money. Presently he pays me $125 a week. He states he will be asking for a lot more than that from me in court. I presently pay my sons college expenses.

My question is will the court use the same formula as a younger child? Will it be a percentage of my gross income? my son has only been out of the house for 2 weeks.
We live in Massachusetts.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 3 years ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

RayAnswers :

There are guidelines here in your state.They do adjust upward for an older child.But then you would also not be paying per se for his education as the supprot would be for other parent to then pay it.

RayAnswers :

III. CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION SCHEDULE



A. BASIC ORDER



The basic child support obligation, based upon the income of the non-custodial parent is as follows:























































GROSS WEEKLY INCOME
NUMBER OF CHILDREN


1


2


3




$0-$100
Discretion of the court, but not less than $80 per month


$101-$280
21%


24%


27%


$281-$750
$59 + 23%


$67 + 28%


$76 + 31%




(% refers to all dollars over $280)

$751-max
$167 + 25%


$199 + 30%


$222 + 33%




(% refers to all dollars over $750)





For children in excess of 3 covered by the order, the support shall be no less than that for 3 children; should a judge order support at the 3 child level, written findings shall describe the circumstances of the particular case which warrant the minimum order.



Within the discretion of the court, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of the parties, the Basic Order may be either increased or decreased by 2%. An adjustment of 2% shall not be considered a deviation.





B. AGE DIFFERENTIAL



The above orders are to be increased to reflect the cost of raising older children. The following is intended to be applied to the age of the oldest child in the household for whom support is sought under the pending action.






















AGE OF OLDEST CHILD


PERCENTAGE INCREASE



0-12


Basic Order Applies


13-18


Basic Order + 10% of Basic Order


Over 18


Discretion of the court (and if statute permits)





C. CUSTODIAL PARENT INCOME ADJUSTMENT



Where the custodial parent works and earns income in excess of $20,000 after consideration of child care expenses, the support order is to be reduced by the percentage that the excess represents in relation to the combined incomes of both parents minus the custodial parent's disregard.


RayAnswers :

Massachusetts requires child support up to the age of 23 if the child is in college; otherwise, 21 is the age of majority. Children of unmarried parents have the same rights.The court here has a lot of discretion with college age child here to decide what your fair share of support here.Sine the child is in college both parents will submit financial information and then the court here decides what amount is fair.

RayAnswers :

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RayAnswers :

If he does not go back to shcool here then your duty to support ends at age 21.

Customer:

Are you saying for a 20 year old I will be ordered to go by the above guidelines

RayAnswers :

Yes but if he doesn't stay in school it will be ending real soon.See if he stays in school or not.

Customer:

does the court take into consideration my expenses or is it a straight calculation of my gross income

RayAnswers :

They will look at your expenses too if you have argument for a lesser amount.This gets to be really case by case here with older children.I do not necessarily think it will be all that much higher than he was paying.The court would take notice here that of the amount he has been paying.

RayAnswers :

I mean the reality is that there is a real good argument it ought to remain the same in all fairness.

RayAnswers :

And it might be possible here for you to work this out along the way.

Customer:

the court awarded joint custody several years back but he would reside at my house. should he be allowed to be at his fathers without going to court

Customer:

also, my income is higher than the father..will that hurt me?

RayAnswers :

No legally the court orders remain in effect.Honestly if you had a lawyer here he would stall this out for a year or so and see if he remains in school here.To me the longer you let this linger the better.He might also decide life with dad isn't all he thought it was.

Customer:

who do i do that

Customer:

stall this out?

Customer:

My income with expenses is $115,000..His father is about $80,000

Customer:

within a week his father filed to ammend the agreement..the hearing is in mid May

RayAnswers :

Well if he has filed for child support and a custody change here you would be served with motion for modification.Once he serves you here then you can respond.You ask for continuance here seeking time to locate a lawyer.If you were to get a lawyer then lawyer might have schedule conflicts or seek to file some discovery here and on and on.You will have to be creative. As I stated a lawyer here can have other hearings on the same date or may file for discovery or other means to stall it out. Delay here benefits you no doubt so try to put it off as long as you can.

Customer:

should i still allow him to live there?

RayAnswers :

Just make sure that you respond here in writing to anything he files.That way there is no default and you may then seek to continue it to seek lawyer, etc and try to delay it;.

RayAnswers :

You have the right here to report him as a runaway.The police probably would return him to you.He may leave again but you have legal right to possession.So thats your call and right to report if you choose.

RayAnswers :

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RayAnswers :

I wish you good luck here with all of this.I am sure it has caused you some grief.

Customer:

Do you think reporting him as a runaway is a benefit or will it make things work..just your opinion..you have been very helpful

Customer:

sorry..make things worse

RayAnswers :

I don't think it really will do any good here.But you do have the right if you choose.I think he leaves again if they brought him home.

Customer:

one last question

RayAnswers :

ok ask

Customer:

what about the child support payment- since I make $115,000 a year will the court order me to pay more than what the order was before. My concern is first my son and his well being. Second is I will not have enough money to pay mortgage because I will have to pay $500 per week in child suupport

RayAnswers :

I don't think the court will set it that high.The judge here has to balance your income and expenses as well as look to other parent.Also the fact that you weren't getting anything close to this is another factor.And you may really want to consider a lawyer because the lawyer can put this off for a good while before you owe anything.Time is on your side.And a lawyer can make a good case for a lesser amount and maybe even seek to resolve this for less without court.

RayAnswers :

You can find one here

RayAnswers : Lawyer Referral Service

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RayAnswers :

Go talk to one and go over your situation, your income/debts and get fee quote and then decide whether you want to hire one or go pro se.

Customer:

Thank you for all your help!!!

Customer:

take car

Customer:

take care

RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29220
Experience: 29 years as a family law lawyer .
RayAnswers and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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