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File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

Learn how to change child support orders if only one parent wants to make a change.

Probate and Family Court locations

The Details of File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

What you need for File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

If only one person wants to change the support order, there are 2 options:

  1. If the Department of Revenue (DOR) is involved in the child support arrangement — They will help you if there appears to be a legal basis for changing the order. Learn how at DOR's Change your child support order.
  2. If you decide to file for a modification yourself or DOR is not involved — You’ll need to file the Complaint for Modification (CJD 104) form.   

The person filing the complaint is the plaintiff and the other party is the defendant, regardless of who was the plaintiff or defendant in the original court proceeding. You must explain the circumstances that have changed in the complaint.

Fees for File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

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

How to file File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

Find the Probate and Family Court in the county where your case was originally heard, even if you and the defendant live in this state but in different counties.  For example, if you were in Norfolk County when support was first ordered, but you now live in Suffolk County, and the other parent lives 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 in the county where your case was originally heard, even if you and the defendant live in this state but in different counties.  For example, if you were in Norfolk County when support was first ordered, but you now live in Suffolk County, and the other parent lives 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 for File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

  1. Serve your papers on the other parent

    When you file the complaint, the court staff will give you a completed summons form. You must make sure that this form is delivered to the other party. If you think that the other party won’t object to the modification, you can have them sign the summons in the presence of a notary public and then return it to the court. Otherwise, see Service of Process (the way you deliver court papers to the person required to respond to them) to learn how to serve papers on the other parent.  Keep a copy of the complaint and summons for yourself.

    Once the constable or sheriff has completed service to the other person, they will either send the summons completed on the back with the date of service directly back to the court or to you. If they send it to you, make sure that you file the completed summons with the court as soon as possible.

  2. File additional paperwork for the court

    Next, you’ll need to fill out a Financial Statement and send it to the other parent, and fill out the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.

    The defendant has 20 days to file an answer to the Complaint for Modification with the court. An answer is a written response to what the plaintiff has said in the Complaint for Modification. See respond to a case filed against you for more information.

  3. Request a court date

    After that, you should file a request for assignment of a court date if the staff has not already assigned one.

    • If the defendant doesn't file an answer — You should ask court staff about scheduling a date for an uncontested trial or pre-trial conference.

    • If the defendant does file an answer — Ask court staff to schedule a pre-trial conference and explain the issues involved in the modification.

Downloads for File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

Contact for File to change your child support if only one person wants the change

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