You and your ex might have prioritized your children during when you separated, but that does not mean you were in complete agreement about everything. Many Massachusetts parents struggle with figuring out child support after divorce, which is why so many people leave this decision up to a judge. Here is what you should know about how the amount of child support is decided and your options for changing a support order.

A family court judge will take a wide range of factors into account when determining how much child support is necessary. This includes how many children are involved, your custody agreement, both you and your ex’s income, potential earnings if either of you are unemployed, contributions for health care and education and much more. Judges also have the discretion to ignore some of these factors or to consider matters that typically do not come into play during support hearings.

However, a support order that was appropriate at the time of your divorce might no longer be the best fit. Maybe your ex started a new job where he or she is earning more, or you experienced an unexpected loss of income. Whether you think you should be paying less or receiving more, you have the option to petition the court in order to have your support order modified. You can also go to court to ask for your current order to be enforced if your ex is not making payments.

While child support might be a sensitive topic for divorcing parents, it is often an important aspect of post-divorce life. Child support ensures the continued financial well being of children and can make sure that they have adequate access to basic needs and more. If you need help with your child support, an attorney who is well-versed in Massachusetts family law might be able to better explain your options.