The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has continuing jurisdiction over child related matters. This includes child support. A court order that was issued during the Complaint for Divorce may need to be modified. Some of the reasons that a parent may need to modify the child support order are a change in employment status, increased wages or a change in child care or insurance expenses. How is the order actually modified?
The first step to modify a child support order is to file a Complaint for Modification. It is important to file the complaint for modification as soon as a parent believes a change in child support is warranted because any court order modifying the child support order is retroactive only to the date the complaint is filed.
The standard for modifying a child support order is a material change in circumstances. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 28 provides the legal standard. Additionally, the following two cases have helped define the statute:
If you are unsure if a change in your situation is a material change in circumstances, then the first step is to see if the change results in a significant change in child support. You can use the child support guidelines located on the Court Forms page to determine the change in Massachusetts Child Support. If there is a significant change, then you will want to file a Complaint for Modification. If you are not sure if your situation warrants a modification, then contact a masstachusetts divorce and family law attorney