My ex is on SSDI. I’m doing my best to make ends meet as a home health aide with the funds the kids receive from SSDI and her nominal $ 25 per week child support, but it’s incredibly stressful. I only work part time because child care is so expensive. I know the child support guidelines change in October and I was hoping that meant he was going to pay more. But someone told me their support could be cut in half. It would be so unfair. I can’t imagine why they would cut my support.
I was going to try to change the order to get more money from him since your last column said that daycare costs would be shared. If I can make her pay half the daycare, I can work more hours, which I really want to do – I wish I could earn enough to be able to start nursing school. Now I’m not sure whether to try to get more or stay here thankful for the small amount I get. What do you suggest?
The new Child Support Worksheet Calculator is now available on the Mass.gov website in a fill-out pdf format. You can find it at courtforms.jud.state.ma.us/publicforms/PFC0001_2021. Make sure you are using a browser other than Internet Explorer if you want the form to work. In order to make a decision on how to move forward, play around with the form and run through different scenarios. The form now has separate places so you can include what your children receive under SSDI, what they receive and, of course, the amount for child care expenses.
When I say play with the form, first enter the numbers used to arrive at your current support order when it was entered so you know what the new order would look like. Then increase your childcare expenses, which will allow you to work more hours – of course, you will also have to increase your income if you work more. See if it makes sense to take more hours and more child care based on the new formula and what that does to your child support order. If that makes sense, you should sign them up for more daycare and agree to the new hours before you file a change.
When looking at the scenarios, keep in mind that the task force that developed these new child support guidelines recognized that some low-income people were losing government benefits because their child support was too low. high. The minimum new weekly order is $ 12. You have the previous weekly minimum, so before making a decision you may want to find out about additional government grants you and your children could receive if your child support was reduced. While you’re at it, check to see if there are any low-income child care programs you don’t already participate in that might also allow you to work longer hours.
Email your questions to [email protected]