Following what is described as a comprehensive review of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Task Force, the Chief Justice of Massachusetts Trial Court released new Child Support Guidelines that became effective on August 1, 2013. In the Trial Court's June 20, 2013 Press Release, it is noted that these revised Guidelines, which supersede any previous Guidelines, are intended to take into consideration current economic realities facing families in Massachusetts.
In a case decided last month, the Court held that a Judge of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has the authority to order the allocation of tax dependency exemptions for divorced parents. When parents divorce, only one parent is permitted to claim the tax dependency exemption for parties' minor child(ren) on his/her tax returns. For the 2013 tax year, the tax dependency exemption is $3,900 for each dependent (subject to phase out based upon certain come levels). Disputes between divorcing parties can arise regarding tax dependency exemptions because being able to claim the tax dependency exemption for the minor child(ren) may provide one party with real tax savings.