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How Do Divorce Modifications Work In Massachusetts?

How Do Divorce Modifications Work In Massachusetts?

When you first go through a divorce, you will determine an appropriate order of child support, a parenting plan and an equitable division of property at the time. However, not everyone thinks ahead and creates a court order pertaining to child support and custody that will work until the children reach the age of majority. Parties often go through changes that warrant alterations to the original order. This is why some people need to go back to court for divorce modifications. If something isn’t working with your court order, it is important to learn how these modifications work.

Change of Circumstances

One of the most important things to know is you must prove that there has been a material change of circumstances to go to court regarding a modification. This change of circumstances can be the result of a major move, a job change that affects the current custody arrangement or anything else that may make the current arrangement impossible or difficult to follow. Talk to a qualified attorney first to determine if your circumstances warrant a modification to avoid unnecessary time in court.

What Can Be Modified?

Child support is often reviewed every three years to account for raises and other changes in income that typically occur. However, these changes may be assessed sooner than three years if a warranted change in circumstances has occurred. In addition, often times child support is determined by guidelines and therefore is easily determined. If you would like to change any aspect of visitation or actual custody of the children via divorce modifications, it must be taken before the court unless the two parents can come to an agreement on their own. In many cases, just about anything within the court order can be modified if the court finds the reasons for doing so are legitimate.

Filing for a Modification

Some people prefer to file for a modification on their own to save money. While this can be done in cases where the two parents agree to the changes, it isn’t always as easy when you must fight it out. Talking to an attorney can often be one of the best ways to file for a modification. An attorney will talk you through the process and let you know if you are likely to obtain the modification for which you are seeking. This is often the safest way to navigate the court system.

Divorce modifications allow parents to work out parts of the court order that are no longer working due to a change in circumstances. Before you spend the time filling out paperwork and filing it with the court, it is important to talk to an experienced family law attorney to find out if you qualify for a modification.


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