A party can file for a post-divorce or post-paternity modification if there has been a material change in circumstances. Ultimately, whether there has been a material change in circumstances that warrants a modification of a Judgment is at the discretion of the Probate and Family Court Judge. However, working with an experienced Family Law attorney can help to predict whether or not the judge will recognize the change as a reason for the modification. In addition, when it comes to child support, there only needs to be a difference between the amount of the existing child support order and the amount that would result from application of the current Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.
There are several situations that may warrant a modification, including:
- Loss of health insurance
- Loss of a business or a reduction in income
- A party is earning a higher income since the judgment
- If there are plans to relocate with children to a different state or country
- If a situation arises where the custody or visitation agreement is no longer in the best interest of the children involved
- A difference between the amount of the existing child support order and the amount that would result from application of the current Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.
Typically, there cannot be a modification with regard to the division of assets. Such a modification is quite uncommon and is case specific. If an asset is discovered after the divorce, however, there is a separate procedure that can be used to divide the newly discovered asset. If you believe that you have a situation that warrants a modification, it is best to first speak to an experienced Family Law attorney.