As I began to explore in Part Six, the 2013 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines formula for the intermediate, shared parenting category, of 33-50 percent of parenting time, is quite poorly conceived and drafted, in that it does not specify the use of a negative number in computing the "average" where it is an average of transfers by different parents one to the other. Literally interpreted, the formula works well, and as designed, in all cases in which the parent with less parenting time...
In Part Five, I began to discuss the puzzling new provisions of our current 2013 Guidelines and ended with the presentation of what I see as seven inter-related and overlapping issues, which I will further examine in this part using a recent court case as an example. First, a short restatement of those basic seven issues (for a more detailed description of these issues themselves, see Part Five again):
1. How do we count parenting time to arrive at percentages?
2. When and how should...
The 2013 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines introduced some interesting but puzzling provisions. As I said earlier, the 2013 Guidelines represented the next awkward step, after that first, giant leap of the 2009 Guidelines, to incorporate evolving principles of shared income and shared parenting. Now I will begin to discuss, in this and the following several parts of this series, that next awkward step. The 2013 Guidelines created a new category between sole and joint custody for parents...
The 2009 Guidelines may well have been higher but better, as they appeared to "get the policy right," as I discussed in Part Three of this series. However, appearing to get the policy right should not be enough to satisfy us. The proof is in the pudding. The Guidelines should be examined and tested, in various scenarios, to make sure that the actual outputs comport with our view of a fair allocation of parental resources. We should not be satisfied just because the policy is “right,” if despite...
The 2009 Guidelines brought many changes as part of the move to a shared income model, all consistent with the growing recognition that the needs, income, and contributions of both parents should be considered in determining appropriate levels of support. The 2009 Guidelines provided, for the first time, a cross-calculation to be used, both in cases of joint custody, where parenting time was “approximately equal,” and split custody, where parents had primary custody of different children....
The new edition continues its legacy as the best guide to family law practice in Massachusetts. As a young attorney, I have ample reason to seek guidance from this exemplary resource. No matter the topic, I am never left desiring more from this series.
The fourth edition provides updates in every section and includes new chapters that explore forward-looking topics, such as electronic discovery, electronic evidence, alternative dispute resolution, social media, health insurance, parenting coordinators and the new alimony laws.
The fourth edition also continues to provide a well-organized, user-friendly experience. The books, and the accompanying CD-ROM, provide essential forms for practice in Massachusetts.
I have no doubt my go-to resource for all things family law can provide judges and lawyers, with any level of experience, with a reliable source of information pertaining to family law. The time needed to research an issue is dramatically decreased with these books, and there is no need to question of the books’ reliability.
Suffice to say, I cannot recommend these books enough.
by Christina M. Knopf, Esq., Michael I. Flores LLC, Orleans