If the Court has made an order requiring that a parent pay child support, the only way to legally change that order is to go back to the court that entered the order. Changes are usually called “modifications.” If the order of child support is part of a document that is a judgment (divorce judgment, judgment on complaint for custody-visitation-support, etc.) then you must file a complaint for modification. As with all Probate and Family Court judgments and orders, a modification can be sought by one parent or by both parents together if they agree on the change.
There may be a number of reasons why you might seek to change the support order. The several most common are described in the Modification section of the Child Support Guidelines and are as follows:
- there is a difference between the amount of child support being paid and the amount that should be paid under the Child Support Guidelines
- health insurance that was available at reasonable cost is no longer available (or is now too expensive)
- a parent can now get affordable health insurance that was not available in the past
- any other material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred.(ex. loss of job or unemployment income, change in child’s living arrangements, etc.)