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Can you change your child custody or support order?

Deciding how to split child custody and how much support one parent should pay the other for their child will be among the most contentious decisions in your divorce. It is common for parents to want to spend as much time with the children as possible and pay as little support as possible.

Often, the judgment or parenting plan issued in a divorce is a compromise that leaves no one fully happy with it. Can you go back to the courts to have them change your custody or support order?

Massachusetts allows for formal modifications requests

The custody and support orders entered at the end of your divorce carry the full authority of the courts. Parents have a legal obligation to uphold the custody agreement and pay support as ordered by the court.

However, sometimes when situations change, custody arrangements need to shift too. Provided that you can show a significant change in circumstances, you have the right to file paperwork with the Massachusetts family courts to ask for a modification hearing.

You will need to present evidence of the changes that you believe will impact the division of custody or the responsibility to pay support. A judge will look over that information and make a decision that focuses on the best interest of the children. The modification will change what you have to do and can help protect you from inappropriate enforcement actions initiated by your ex.

Pursuing a modification after your divorce could give you more time with the children, fewer financial obligations or access to more child support from your ex. With legal guidance, you have a better chance of getting the outcome you’re seeking.