How can I have child support payments adjusted?

I have recently been ordered to pay $255 a week in child support. With this added expense I will now exceed my monthly salary by over 400 dollars. How can this be adjusted?

Asked on September 4, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts


Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Go to Probate and Famly Court in the county in which the case was heard and file a Complaint for Modification--serve it on your former spouse.  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The court can adjust or modify the support--and only the court can do this. You need to go to family court with evidence of both your salary and your expenses. If your legitimate necessary expenses are as high as you indicate, the court may reduce your obligations--though the court is not likely to view unncessary expensive sympathetically, like eating out often, belonging to an expensive gym, premium cable, etc. You will probably be expected to reduce those expenses.

Remember: only the court can adjust your expenses: even bankruptcy will not discharge child support obligations. If possible, get an attorney to help you,  but even if you represent yourself, definitely ask the court to modify the support order.

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