PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2023
Trial Court Issues Amended Child Support Guidelines
Amended guidelines go into effect on July 31, 2023
BOSTON, MA – Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke today announced the promulgation of amended child support guidelines to be effective on July 31, 2023. The amended child support guidelines shall be applied to all child support orders and judgments entered as of July 31, 2023.
The child support guidelines are used by Trial Court judges in setting orders for child support, in deciding whether to approve agreements for child support, and in deciding cases that are before the Court to modify existing orders.
The child support guidelines have been clarified to specifically “[p]rovide that incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment in establishing or modifying child support orders.” 45 C.F.R. § 302.56 (c) (3). These amendments appear in the Preamble and in Section 1. E. 1.
Section 1. E. 1 now provides:
E. Attribution of Income
1. Income may be attributed where a finding has been made that either parent is capable of working and is unemployed or underemployed. Incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment in establishing or modifying child support orders.
These amendments to the Guidelines do not affect the Worksheet or the Findings and Determinations for Child Support and Post-Secondary Education form.
The child support guidelines can be found at http://www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/family/child-support-guidelines.html.