If you have lost your job, you may be unable to pay your court-ordered child support. So, can you simply stop making payments? Read on to learn more about child support modifications in Massachusetts.
How is child support determined?
There are a number of factors that help determine how much child support you owe. One of the biggest factors is your financial status. However, the court will also consider:
- Your marital status
- Whether either you or your former spouse has significant medical bills
- Whether your child is attending college or pursuing a higher education
- Your child’s age
- Whether you have sole or physical custody of your child
- Whether you have more than six children to support
- You and your former spouse’s yearly gross income
- Whether you or your former spouse has recently experienced an increase or decrease in yearly income
- Whether there is recently been a change in the federal income tax law.
Can I stop payments if I lost my job?
It is important to understand that you will have to continue. making child support payments, even if you have lost your job. However, you can request a child support modification to change the amount and/or frequency of payments. To modify the terms of your child support, you will have to file a complaint for modification. From here, a judge will listen to both parents’ opinions regarding the change, and will then review all financial statements and child support guidelines. If the judge determines your request is valid, he or she will allow an adjustment to be made. In order to obtain a modification, you will have to prove that you have experienced a substantial and permanent financial change. Additionally, some situations do not allow for modification. For example, if you quit your job, or were fired as a result of criminal or negligent wrongdoing, you will likely be unable to obtain a modification.
If you need to request a child support modification, it is important to work with an experienced and dedicated family law attorney. Our firm is here to walk you through the process every step of the way.
Contact our experienced Bristol County firm
For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.