When the terms of your divorce no longer fit your present circumstances, petitioning for divorce modification can help alter the terms accordingly. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, overturning a divorce decree requires an appeal. The appeal process is often drawn-out because one appellate court will need to overturn a lower court’s decision. Appeals are usually unsuccessful except in the case of exceptional and compelling circumstances. The following are common examples of situations that warrant a divorce modification.
1. Moving a long distance from an ex-spouse.
2. A needed increase of alimony. Spousal support is not mandatory in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It depends upon the income and situation of the spouses.
3. Dramatic increase or decrease of income for former spouse under a child support order.
4. A child not being properly supervised by parent or current partner of parent due to psychological or substance abuse problems.
5. A teenage dependent becomes difficult to manage and increased custodial or financial assistance is required to address the issue.
6. Division of property is found to have been unfairly divided due to new information that was not previously known.
In addition to these examples, there may also be unusual circumstances which require increased financial assistance or changes to custody agreements.
When children are involved, the judge bases his or her decision on the best possible outcome for the children involved. Massachusetts courts will order temporary joint legal custody in the beginning of a divorce case unless circumstances present a conflict to the child’s best interest.
Petitions to modify a divorce decree are managed by state statutes and local court rules. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, divorce law and eligibility for modification can be researched on the state website.
If you have questions regarding divorce modification within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please contact us today.