NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission. All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.
Fathers & Families Going to Court Again to Stop New Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines
The new Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines went into effect January 1. They are causing substantial increases in child support in almost all cases. Many payors will see increases of "only' 20%, but some will see a tripling of their child support order, even when they are poor and the recipient is wealthy. In high income cases, the child support order for one child could exceed $50,000 per year. We are bringing a lawsuit in state court to stop the new Guidelines. We need your financial gifts to sustain our legal expenses. When we went to federal court on January 5, there was an outpouring of gifts, and we need you to rise to the occasion again by clicking HERE. How much money is legitimately needed to support a child? Far less than the Guidelines require, in many cases. If a recipient and payor earn the same amount, when all factors are taken into consideration, the recipient will enjoy a standard of living almost double that of the payor. This holds true throughout the broad range of middle class incomes. For details, see the Minority Report I wrote about the new Guidelines. Instead of the child-friendly "two-condo solution,' the new Guidelines produce a "castle and shack' outcome. Fathers & Families believes the new Child Support Guidelines violate the Massachusetts constitution in several ways. They violate both the due process and equal protection rights of payors of child support. Also, the Guidelines violate Article 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights by having a secret committee prepare them, and a single judge declare them to be law. In contrast, Article 30 requires legislative approval of the Guidelines. We argued these points before Judge D.P. Woodlock in federal court on January 5. We had a great turnout--almost 50 of our supporters took time off from work to attend the hearing. Judge Woodlock decided that the case belonged in state court, not in federal court. He did not rule on the merits of our case. We had good reasons for going to federal court, but we did not win, so now we are going to state court. To do so, we again need your help and support by making as large a tax-deductible gift as you possibly can by clicking HERE. Together with you in the love of our children, Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. Executive Director