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File changes to child support if both parties agree to the change

Learn how to change child support orders if both parties agree to make a change.

Probate and Family Court

The Details

What you need

If both parents are in agreement to change the amount of child support, the procedure is outlined in Rule 412 of the Mass. Supplemental Rules of the Probate and Family Court.

These forms must be filed:

  • Copy of the judgment or order to be changed. Get this from the staff at the Probate and Family Court that issued it if you don’t already have a copy.
  • See a checklist of required forms for a list of and links to other necessary forms.

The above forms must be file together as a “complete packet.” If necessary forms are missing, it will delay action by the court. 

Fees

Name Fee Unit
Complaint for Modification fee (if filed by DOR, there is no fee) $50 each
Summons fee $5 each

How to file

Find the Probate and Family Court where your case was originally heard.

If you and the defendant live in this state but in different counties, you must file in the county where your case was originally heard.  For example, if you were in Norfolk County when support was first ordered, but you now live in Suffolk County, and the defendant in Plymouth County, you must file in Norfolk Probate and Family Court.

If the other party lives in a different state, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act applies. This act allows the parent who has custody to request or modify child support from a parent in another state without having to necessarily travel to that state. Ask court staff for more information if you're in this situation.

Find the Probate and Family Court where your case was originally heard.

If you and the defendant live in this state but in different counties, you must file in the county where your case was originally heard.  For example, if you were in Norfolk County when support was first ordered, but you now live in Suffolk County, and the defendant in Plymouth County, you must file in Norfolk Probate and Family Court.

If the other party lives in a different state, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act applies. This act allows the parent who has custody to request or modify child support from a parent in another state without having to necessarily travel to that state. Ask court staff for more information if you're in this situation.

Next steps

After the packet is filed

  • If all forms have been filed and the court approves the modification, both parties will receive a copy of the decision within 30 days.
  • If forms are missing or incorrect or the judge has questions about the new agreement, the court will notify you within 21 days that a hearing has been scheduled. Both parties are required to attend.

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