After the final divorce or paternity judgment is entered by the court, it may be necessary to modify the judgment. Massachusetts permits parties to seek modifications in the event of a material change in circumstances. This may be due to financial changes, relocation, re-marriage, or a change in the parenting plan impacting the well-being of a child.
Attorney Lauren Popovitch will provide you with the correct legal analysis you need to determine whether your life changes qualify for a Complaint for Modification.
- Modification of Alimony
- Modification of Child Support
- Modification of Child Custody and Parenting Plans
Modification of Alimony
Alimony may be modified if you have a substantial and material change in circumstances that impact:
- Your ability to pay alimony
- Your need for an increased amount of alimony
It may also be modified if you have exceeded the durational limits of the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act of 2011.
A Complaint for Modification may be filed to seek a change (increase/decrease) or termination of alimony.
Modification of Child Support
The most common are described in the Modification section of the Child Support Guidelines and are as follows:
- There is a difference between the amount of child support being paid and the amount that should be paid under the Child Support Guidelines
- Health insurance that was available is no longer available (or is now too expensive), i.e. a parent can now get affordable health insurance that was not available in the past
- Any other material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred, for example: the loss of job or unemployment income, a change in a child’s living arrangements, etc.
Modification of Child Custody and Parenting Plans
Child Custody or Parenting Plan agreements can be modified as well, particularly in situations of relocation or a material change in the needs of the child. If a parent is seeking to relocate, the child may not be removed from Massachusetts without permission of the other parent or a judge. If a parent relocates the child from Massachusetts that parent may be held in Contempt.
Drug and substance abuse, domestic violence and/or child abuse/neglect may require an immediate modification. If you are in this unfortunate situation, an emergency motion may be necessary for modification or suspension of parenting time.
If you want to change a custody order or judgment, you must be able to show that there is a material change of circumstances since the custody order or judgment was entered and that your desired change is in the best interest of the child.
Attorney Lauren Popovitch will serve as your Strongest Advocate.