In this case, the change was necessary to bring the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines in conformity with federal standards. Specifically, the child support guidelines have been updated to “[p]rovide that incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment in establishing or modifying child support orders.” 45 C.F.R. § 302.56 (c) (3). These amendments appear in the Preamble and in Section 1. E. 1, which now reads:
E. Attribution of Income 1. Income may be attributed where a finding has been made that either parent is capable of working and is unemployed or underemployed. Incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment in establishing or modifying child support orders.
This is the only change from the 2021 guidelines. The updated 2023 guidelines are available here.
Obviously this change will only have an effect on cases where a party is incarcerated and won't affect other cases. In addition, this change did not affect the Worksheet (which is still the 2021 worksheet)
If you prefer to use an Excel version of the Worksheet, that version (along with an Excel version of the Massachusetts Rule 401 Financial Statements) is available for download with a subscription to Gray Jay Endeavors, LLC Massachusetts forms.
Click here to read more information about the 2021 Child Support Guidelines Revisions. We'll see you again in 2025!