Sometimes, changing circumstances make the original terms of your child support order inadequate. Whether you pay or receive child support, a change in your income or health insurance status may prompt you to request a modification of the child support order. 

According to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a judge determines whether to modify a child support order after reviewing the existing terms and hearing arguments from you and/or your spouse about changed circumstances. 

Qualifying reasons for child support modification 

The Massachusetts government website provides examples of circumstances that may prompt a modification request. If you lose your job, for example, you may need to modify the amount of child support you receive or pay. Other qualifying circumstances relate to health insurance. If the cost of your children’s health insurance drastically increases or decreases, it may justify a change in the child support amount. 

You may also request a modification if the amount of child support payments is less than the required amount determined by the state’s child support guidelines. 

Requesting a modification 

You or your spouse may file a modification request. You may also file a joint request. In any event, the modification request goes through a branch of the state’s Probate and Family Courts system. 

When a judge considers the modification request, he or she may require you to submit income information and details about the change in your circumstances. The judge may review both you and your ex-spouse’s income and expenditures as well as the health insurance options you both have access to. Your children’s ages and living arrangements may affect the judge’s decision on the modification request.