BOSTON, MA, March 17, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Recently, on March 12, 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court recognized that a contradiction exists between Massachusetts statutory law and the Child Support Guidelines
; both are supposed to be used together in determining whether child support can be modified and if so, how much. The calculation for determining how much child support should be paid has not changed, but standard for determining whether a parent can seek an increase or decrease in child support payments has changed; for now, anyway.
This conflict arises between Massachusetts statue (MGL ch. 208 section 28) , which uses the "inconsistency" standard and the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, which use the "material change in circumstance" standard; the latter being a higher standard to overcome if seeking a modification. The Supreme Judicial Court has determined that the lower standard stated in the statute, or "inconsistency" standard must be used by a judge rather than the higher standard of "material and substantial change in circumstance" standard. However, this change will not affect any parent who has had a child support order of at least three (3) years or has a major financial change in health insurance coverage for the children. Those parents can file for a modification without worrying if they can meet either standard.
To understand the conflict between the legislation and guidelines, one must read the language of each. The Child Support Guidelines, as revised in 2009, state that child support may be modified if any of the following circumstances exist:
1. The existing order is at least three years old; or
2. Health insurance previously available at reasonable cost is no longer available or if available but not at a reasonable cost); or
3. Health insurance not previously available to a party at reasonable cost has become unavailable; or
4. Any other material change in circumstances has occurred (emphasis applied).
In contrast, under Massachusetts statutory law, MGL ch. 208 section 28 , child support shall be modified if there merely "an inconsistency between the amount of the existing order and the amount that would result from application of the child support guidelines.
The Supreme Judicial Court recognized that when the language of a statute is clear, as it is in MGL ch. 208 section 28, which uses the "inconsistency standard", then Courts must apply the language/standard of the statute.
Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com
# # #Read more Press Releases from Marcia Mavrides: