781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

2013 Child Support Guidelines Preview Part 2: Which Comes First? The Alimony or The Child Support?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In an earlier blog entry, we wondered about how various judges might apply what are arguably competing aspects of the presumptive formulae for alimony and child support. Since 2009, the Child Support Guidelines (CSG) have presumptively absorbed the first $250,000.00 of combined family income, while the Massachusetts alimony “reform” statute (eff. 3/1/12), forbids the use of dollars for alimony analysis, when they have already been exposed to CSG treatment. Since neither specifies which calculation comes first, which is the chicken and which the egg?

This is no idle wondering. Given the opposite tax impacts of alimony (taxable/deductible) and child support (not taxable/not deductible), the economic differences in the two approaches can be substantive, even substantial. We noted earlier that judges addressing lawyers’ groups about their own practices in this regard seemed open minded to hearing both sides of the equation. Meanwhile, as Greater Boston and Western Massachusetts divorce and family law mediators, we have been running the calculations both ways all along, not in an undereducated effort to mirror judicial thinking, but to help inform our clients of the differing possible economic outcomes, in seeking consensus on fair and tax-efficient family support arrangements.

The 2013 CSG resolves the question expressly, if not definitively. They state that neither approach is improper, and that under appropriate circumstances, judges may apply either approach. We applaud this approach as it maximizes flexibility, elevating inquiry and analysis over form, in the search for equity and efficiency.



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

how baseball arbitration works COLA Levine Dispute Resolution divorce mediation Baseball Players Chouteau Levine Baseball Arbitration divorce litigation LDRC divorce arbitration mediator Baseball The Seven Sins of Alimony lawyer-attended mediation Levine Dispute Resolutions private dispute resolution Massachusetts lawyers Boston dispute resolution Massachusetts Massachusetts alimony and child support med/arb arbitrator SJC Same Sex Marriage Uniform Arbitration Act Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC divorce mediators med-arb DOMA medical benefits disputes alimony Major League Baseball Arbitration mediations family law arbitrator Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act health insurance alimony reform legislation mediation Cohabitation self-adjusting alimony Child Support Guidelines General term alimony Obamacare Levine Dispute Resolution Center traditional negotiations divorced alimony orders divorce arbitrator divorce process alimony statute support orders fraud divorce and family law facilitated negotiations MLB labor agreement arbitration IRC §2704 Massachusetts alimony Divorce Agreements separation mediators divorce judgment Divorce high-risk methodology Defense of Marriage Act lawyers Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth resolve disputes Massachusetts divorce lawyers conciliation rehabilitative alimony Family Law Arbitration health coverage divorce mediations arbitrators divorce arbitrators Matrimonial Arbitration Alimony Reform Act family support family mediation family law family law mediation divorce mediator family law arbitrators family and probate law disputes alimony law divorce lawyers divorce agreement special master Massachusetts divorce mediators child support pre-ARA alimony divorce and family law mediators litigation Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Self-adjusting alimony orders annulment lawyer