Monday, August 16, 2010

Parents should exchange financial information on a regular schedule

In Massachusetts, a modification action to increase child support can be filed upon a material change of circumstances or every three years.  A person receiving child support needs to know about the other parent's income or they are likely to file a modification just to find out what they currently earn.  While this can be good for lawyers, it is expensive for the parties and harms the working relationship between the parents.  A better alternative is for the parties to exchange financial information on a regular basis and calculate the child support guidelines.  This gives the parties the option of making an agreement on the new amount of child support and avoiding fighting in court.  If they resolve the issue between them, they can file the agreement with the court and make it a court judgment.   While I recommend that parents exchange information every year, at a minimum, they should exchange information  at least every three years.

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