The terms of your divorce decree were established in a single moment of your life, and chances are, circumstances have changed since that moment. Many of those terms can be legally changed to match the new circumstances, if you have the right arguments to justify the change.
Custody, parenting plans, child support, alimony—all these arrangements were based on needs and abilities at the time of the divorce. If the situation has significantly changed, Reade Law Firm, PC can help you seek modifications to fit the new circumstances.
Custody and visitation arrangements in your parenting plan can be amended if the other parent agrees or when you are able to demonstrate to the court that a change is justified. If you want more time with your children or need to protect them from a dangerous situation, it is wise to start the process of seeking custody modification as soon as possible. The procedures vary depending on whether the arrangement comes from a temporary order or a judgment on custody, and on whether both parties agree to the change or one party is requesting the change on their own.
When the change is sought by only one parent, that parent must be prepared to show that circumstances have changed significantly and why the current arrangement is not meeting the best interests of the child.
Child Support Modification
Massachusetts law provides more guidance about the changes needed to justify a child support order. Child support guidelines consider income and expenses, the age of the child, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, and other factors.
Some common reasons a child support order may be modified include:
- Change in health insurance availability or cost
- Different living arrangements for the child
- Change in job situation
- The amount ordered does not match guidelines
It is important for parents to keep up with existing court-ordered support obligations until the court makes an official amendment. If parents agree to a change out of court, the modification is not enforceable, and they can still be held to the original obligation.
There are two grounds for modifying alimony arrangements in Massachusetts. A spouse can request an amendment by asserting that there has been a “material change” in circumstances. This can include a change in financial situation for either spouse, the death of a spouse, or the remarriage or cohabitation of the spouse receiving support.
A spouse paying support can also seek modification on the grounds that the alimony order was entered before 2012 and that it requires alimony payments to continue longer than the current laws allow.
Reade Law Firm, PC Provides Solutions When You Need to Modify an Order After Divorce
If you’re not certain whether a change in circumstances qualifies for a modification, the experienced team at Reade Law Firm, PC would be happy to review your situation. We can help you find the best way forward through negotiation or judicial intervention. Call today to get started.