Child Support and Alimony

Child Support and AlimonyAlong with reaching a custody agreement, parties involved in a divorce must also figure out who will pay child support and how much child support should be paid. This is another highly contested area between partners during a trying time and the team at Karpenski & Schmelkin is available to explain how Massachusetts law determines child support and to work with you to ensure your child(ren) will be financially supported after the divorce is final.

Typically, the parent who is not the primary residential parent and caregiver must pay child support to the other parent. The law mandates that both biological parents are responsible for providing financial support to their child(ren), and this usually lasts until the child is 18 or 21, depending upon the circumstances.

Several factors are taken into consideration by the court when calculating child support. These include each parent’s gross weekly income, the costs of child care and the cost of health insurance. A parent with a high income may be required by the court to pay a proportionally higher amount of child support. The final amount of child support is decided after the needs of the child and the parents’ income are thoroughly accessed by the court using the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.

Child Support Between Unmarried Parents

Even if you are unmarried, you are still entitled to child support from your child’s biological parent. At Karpenski & Schmelkin we can help you pursue child support enforcement. The first step is to determine paternity. Contact us today to discuss your options.

Changes to Child Support

As life changes, numerous factors can alter a parent’s ability to make child support payments in full or on time. Sometimes a former partner does not cooperate in paying support. When unpredictable circumstances arise such as a job promotion, job loss, change in income, health insurance changes, and more, either parent may ask the court to reevaluate and modify support orders. Even if it’s been years since your divorce became final, we can help you reassess your current child support agreement with your former partner and take legal action to recover was is rightfully yours.


During a divorce, you may also have concerns about spousal support and how much support you’re entitled to pay or to receive. Our team will help protect your interests and provide you with alimony guidance.

On March 1, 2012, the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Bill went into effect. The changes that this bill mandated include an end to alimony payments at retirement age, and that the income and assets of “new” spouses are exempt from consideration when modifying alimony. Usually, the amount of alimony will not exceed 30-35 percent of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes established at the time of the alimony order, or the supported spouse’s financial need.

Our team wants to help you focus on what is best for you and your children. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about your options for child support and alimony.