What Should I Do if I Need to Modify My Child Support?

Changed Circumstance for a Child Support Modification

Sometimes life changes require that you seek an adjustment or modification to your current child support obligation.  While not every single life change may warrant such a modification, there are times when the modification may be permitted.  Under Massachusetts law, if you have a changed circumstance, you may be able to get a modification of your existing child support order.

The court system does not want to systematically sabotage someone who pays child support from falling behind on their obligation.  The amount set by a child support order is to make sure the child is taken care of, and it must be enough for the obligor to be able to support themselves.  If you fall under a qualifying changed circumstance that could allow you to modify your child support, you should do so before you fall behind.  Some instances in which a child support modification may be justified are:

  • Significant change in living costs;
  • Change or loss of job (at no fault of your own)
  • Significant change income; and/or
  • Change in health insurance coverage.

How Do I Apply for a Modification?

If you want to modify your child support, you will have to fill out and file a Complaint for Modification form, along with a Financial Statement and Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.  These documents will be submitted to the court.  The other parent will be served with these documents and a court date will be scheduled.  If both parents agree to a modification, they can both submit their forms together.  The court will then notify the parties of its decision after a thorough review of the information provided, usually within 30 days.

If you are anticipating a change in circumstance, or if you have already experienced a change in circumstance, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.  An experienced family law attorney can advise you of your rights and help you determine the best solution for you based on the facts of your matter.

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney to help you with your matter, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. to schedule your consultation.