When the terms of your divorce or custody proceeding no longer fit your present circumstances, a joint petition or complaint for modification can alter the terms accordingly. In the state of Massachusetts, the court must issue a new judgment which alters the prior judgment in order for the terms to be in enforceable, even if you and your former spouse or, if never married, the other parent agree on the changes. These are common examples of situations that warrant a modification.
1. Moving a long distance within the Commonwealth from your child’s other parent. (Moving outside the Commonwealth requires permission from the court by way of a “Removal” process).
2. A need for or increase in alimony. Spousal support is not mandatory in the state of Massachusetts. It depends upon the income and situation of the spouses.
3. An increase or decrease of a child support order based on and increase or decrease of income or the emancipation of a child.
4. A change in custody or a parenting schedule because a child is not being properly supervised by a parent or current partner of parent.
In addition to these reasons, there may also be unusual circumstances which require increased financial assistance or changes to custody orders.
When children are involved, the judge bases his or her decision on the best possible outcome for the children involved. Otherwise, petitions to modify a divorce decree are managed by state statutes and local court rules. In the state of Massachusetts, divorce law and eligibility for modification can be researched on the state website.
If you have questions regarding divorce modification within the state of Massachusetts, contact our attorneys today.