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Changing your Massachusetts child support order

As a Massachusetts parent who either pays or receives child support, a time may come when you want to request a modification to your existing child support order. Maybe you lost your job, or maybe the child you support now spends more nights in your own home than that of his or her other parent.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to modify your Massachusetts child support order, there are certain steps you must take to try to do so.

Requesting a modification

You have the option to request a change in child support, regardless of whether you are the person paying or receiving support. If you and your former partner agree about the child support change, you can also request the modification together. Should you decide to move forward in requesting a change, the next step involves filing a complaint for modification with the court.

You can expect the court to review your circumstances closely with regard to parenting time, health insurance, your child’s age, and both parents’ income and expenses when making decisions about child support changes.

Why many parents seek modifications

Many Massachusetts parents who wish to change child support arrangements do so because they are facing similar circumstances. In some cases, the amount paid or received differs from the amount dictated by the state’s child support guidelines. Other times, a substantial change in circumstances, such as job loss or a change in who the child primarily lives with, is the catalyst for the parent seeking the change.

Health insurance availability also often plays a role. Some parents seek modifications because they no longer have access to affordable health insurance, or because the other parent now has access to even more affordable insurance.

No two child support cases are the same, and many factors come into play when you request a child support modification. Filing a request with the court is the first step toward making necessary changes and finding solutions that fit your family’s needs.

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