The Massachusetts child support statute imposes a duty of child support on both the husband and wife. Because the support obligation falls equally on the custodial and non-custodial parent, the income of a second spouse may be considered in calculating the obligor's ability to pay alimony or child support.
In the Dep't of Revenue v Mason M. case, the court held that "because the income of the wife contributed to the support of the marital household, the father had available more of his own money with which to provide for the financial well-being of the child."
In conclusion, the custodial and non-custodial parents have an equal obligation to support their children based on their available resources. When parents of children remarry, the income of the their respective new spouses, whether it be the spousal income of the parent receiving child support, or whether it be the spousal income of the parent paying child support, must be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances.
Whether you are going through a divorce or seeking a modification of a child support order, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar to discuss your unique situation.