In MA Is child support based on 2nd income?

Q.  In MA Is child support based on 2nd income?

In MA, child support is based upon the income of the parties.  “Income is defined as gross income from whatever source, regardless of whether that income is recognized by the Internal Revenue Code or reported to the Internal Revenue Service or state Department of Revenue or other taxing authority. However, income derived from a means-tested public assistance program (for example: TAFDC, SNAP, veterans’ benefits and SSI benefits) shall not be counted as income for either parent.”  The Court “may consider none, some, or all overtime income or income from a secondary job.”  In deciding whether to consider some or all of this income, “due consideration must first be given to the history of the income, the expectation that the income will continue to be available, the economic needs of the parties and the children, the impact of the overtime or secondary job on the parenting plan, and whether the overtime work is a requirement of the job.”  Additionally, if this income begins after the initial award is entered, there is a presumption that the overtime is not included for purposes of child support calculation in the future.

For more information, see the MA guidelines here:   https://www.mass.gov/doc/2018-child-support-guidelines/download

In NH, gross income is defined as “all income from any source, whether earned or unearned, including, but not limited to, wages, salary, commissions, tips, annuities, social security benefits, trust income, lottery or gambling winnings, interest, dividends, investment income, net rental income, self-employment income, alimony, business profits, pensions, bonuses, and payments from other government programs (except public assistance programs, including aid to families with dependent children, aid to the permanently and totally disabled, supplemental security income, food stamps, and general assistance received from a county or town), including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation, veterans’ benefits, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits.”  However, NH states that “no income earned at an hourly rate for hours worked, on an occasional or seasonal basis, in excess of 40 hours in any week shall be considered as income for the purpose of determining gross income; and provided further that such hourly rate income is earned for actual overtime labor performed by an employee who earns wages at an hourly rate in a trade or industry which traditionally or commonly pays overtime wages, thus excluding professionals, business owners, business partners, self-employed individuals and others who may exercise sufficient control over their income so as to recharacterize payment to themselves to include overtime wages in addition to a salary.”  In plain English, for those that do not control their own income (ie business owners), the court will not consider overtime earned on “occasion” or “seasonally” as income for child support purposes.

For more information, see the NH guidelines here:  https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcss/documents/dcss-guide-book.pdf

 

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