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When can you ask the Massachusetts courts to lower child support?

Paying child support is one of your most important responsibilities as a parent in Massachusetts. However, the amount of support that you have to pay could sometimes cause you financial stress. 

The family courts do their best to balance the needs of a parent with the needs of their dependent children when establishing an appropriate amount of child support, but situations can quickly change. When might you have the option of asking the court to revisit and possibly lower that amount for you?

When the child’s needs change

Massachusetts law permits parents to request a child support modification if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances. If your child’s financial needs decrease, then you may be in a position to ask for a reduction in your support requirements, too. 

Your child no longer needing health insurance from you because better coverage is available through another program could be one such example. So could an older child who no longer needs tutoring or daycare, as the end of those costs will drastically reduce how much it costs to maintain the child.

When your income changes

One of the most important factors that influence your child support obligations is your current income. The more you make, the more you may have to pay. If you have recently lost your job or had to take a pay cut, then you may be in a position to ask the courts to reduce your child support in a manner that reflects the reduced income. 

Knowing when you can ask for a child support modification can help protect you from overpaying your support.