When To File a Complaint for Modification

Most likely your divorce agreement/judgment will have to be modified at some time in the future, especially if you have children.  Issues such as child support, parenting plans, and health insurance benefits are likely “merged” into your final divorce agreement and therefore are modifiable.

The most common reasons for modifying a child support order are:

  • If, under the current Massachusetts child support guidelines, the amount owed is less than or greater than the amount of child support in the original divorce;
  • Your health insurance premiums have increased or decreased since the date of your last child support judgment OR the other parent can now get more affordable health insurance than he/she could have in the past; or
  • A material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred since your last child support judgment which would warrant an increase or decrease in your child support order. The most common change in circumstances are an increase and/or decrease in the incomes of either parent, a change in the child’s living arrangement, and a child’s attendance at college.

It is important to remember that you should file a Complaint for modification of child support IMMEDIATELY following the change in in circumstances.  A Judge can only apply the new child support amount retroactive to the day the Complaint for Modification was served on the opposing party.  In other words, if you lose your job but do not file and serve your Complaint for Modification until six (6) months later , a Judge will not be able to modify the child support amount for that six (6) month period.

If you or someone you know is looking to modify an existing agreement or order, please call Grossman & Associates, Ltd. at 617-969-0069.

Don’t Put Anything in Writing You Don’t Want on the Front Page

Break-ups bring about many emotional challenges, regardless of whether you are the “break-uper” or the “break-upee”.  The additional challenge of having your relationship played out in a courtroom and feeling as though every one of your actions are being monitored can be overwhelming.  Understanding, identifying and releasing your emotions can be therapeutic in dealing with a broken heart, but this should be a private matter.  The truth is that when you are going through a divorce or paternity action your actions ARE being monitored and the best legal advice we can give you is: Never, ever put anything in writing you don’t want published on the front page of the newspaper.

Emotions can take control of your thinking, behavior and actions.  As a result your judgment is impaired. Texting, emailing, Facebooking or using other forms of social media to air your feelings about your ex into the late hours of the night must STOP.  I don’t know of one time that any social media posting or text/email writing to an ex was helpful, but I do know of many, many, many times it has hurt the writer’s case.  Writing in a journal, talking to a friend or a therapist are healthy ways to express your feelings and help your case.  DO NOT compromise your case by sending nasty, hostile or threatening communications to your spouse during the divorce.