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In Massachusetts, a party may seek a modification after the entry of an Order or a Judgment of the Probate and Family Court under certain circumstances.  If a party seeks to modify a Judgment of the Court, that person would need to file a Complaint for Modification.  If a party seeks to modify a temporary order, relative to child support or a parenting plan for example, that party would file a Motion for Further Temporary Orders.  The standard for modification actions, except for those pertaining to child support orders, is a material and substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the prior Order or Judgment.


Circumstances which may lead a party to seek a modification of an Order or Judgment, may include, but not be limited to, the following:


Child Support:

·      A change in income

·      A change in certain child related expenses

·      A change in parent’s health insurance

·      A change in the physical custody of the children

·      An inconsistency exists between the amount of a present child support Order and the amount on that would result from the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet


If you believe that modification of your child support is warranted, it is important to seek a modification as soon as possible as the Court may only modify the Order retroactively to the date of notice of such a request. 



·      The needs of the recipient of alimony have changed

·      The financial ability of the payor has changed

·      The recipient’s remarriage

·      The recipient’s cohabitation 


Custody/Parenting Plans:

·      One party is acting in a manner that is putting the child’s health, wellbeing, or safety at risk

·      A party who previously had less parenting time has been exercising significantly more parenting time

·      A party is not regularly exercising their parenting time

·      One party is alienating the child from the other parent

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