Taking Action: Complaint for Modification
What is a Complaint for Modification?
Circumstances between you and your spouse might shift after divorce. And this shift—may be a change in living arrangements, health insurance changes, getting remarried or job loss, to name a few examples—might directly impact your child support, alimony, or visitation agreement with your former spouse.
One of these scenarios will likely call for a Complaint for Modification action, which is necessary when your former spouse does not adhere to court-ordered directives, including:
- Not following a parenting plan or visitation schedule
- Not paying child support
- Not paying alimony
As events or lifestyle changes no longer allow these court-ordered actions to be followed, a Complaint for Modification might be in order.
What is the difference between Complaint for Contempt and Complaint for Modification Actions?
There's a key difference between Complaint for Contempt and Complaint for Modification, though it's important to note that both can be employed simultaneously. This is an instance in which you should rely on your Family Law attorney to provide you with appropriate guidance should both a Complaint for Contempt and a Contempt for Modification blur together as they sometimes can.
Say, for example, your spouse intentionally ignores the legal plan of action he or she is responsible for, financial or otherwise. Examples of this might include delivering on a specific child support sum, alimony payments or following a set visitation schedule. Your former spouse is in contempt and the recipient spouse can take action to recover any related damages with a Complaint for Contempt action.
From a slightly different angle, if you or your former significant other are in charge of providing the other party with any financial support and you've experienced a change in lifestyle, a departure from your initial agreement, the recipient spouse can file a Contempt for Modification if the responsible party can no longer pay the original amount.
Another way to think of these actions: a Complaint for Modification might be a follow-up to a Contempt of Court if the other party can no longer satisfy the contract.
There's a few types of Modifications you should be aware of:
Modification of Alimony
Alimony can be modified post-divorce long as there is a cause. If your former spouse can no longer pay due to provable, extenuating circumstances, there may be grounds for a reduced payment plan, a lesser overall amount due or total forgiveness. Situational circumstances might include:
- Job loss
- Death of a new spouse
- A drastic change in income due to layoffs or job loss related to COVID-19
On the other hand, if you find that your former spouse can pay more alimony due to a positive shift in his or her financial situation, you might be eligible for an increase in your alimony payments.
Our team of attorneys, in this particular situation, will help you delicately navigate this situation in a Courtroom, whether it's carefully working through terms of a modified solution to ensure it's suitable to your needs, or winning any additional monies you (or recipient spouse) might be entitled to.
Modification of Child Support
Unexpected circumstances might have you and your former spouse revisiting the inside of a Probate and Family Law courtroom sooner than you'd like if he or she (or you) can no longer pay the agreed-upon amount to help care for your children.
Job loss, medical emergencies or other, unfortunate situations aren't easy on anyone, and in the event, our family lawyers might need to represent you, we'll be a reliable liaison to ensure you and your spouse find a livable solution—from repayment plans to modified payments or temporary forgiveness, in some cases.
Modification of Child Custody and Parenting Plans
There's a variety of factors that might demand you and your former spouse's collective child custody and parenting plans change, especially over time.
Children grow and with it, their needs, interests, likes and dislikes take shape and continuously morph.
Another scenario might have formerly divorced parents remarrying and blending families together, which might lend itself to a shift in internal dynamics. Other reasons might be simple and basic, like a relocation due to a job change.
If anyone of our experienced Family Law attorneys partners with you, we'll act as a helpful intermediary as you and your former spouse design the best solution for you and your children, also while ensuring legal rules and guidelines per the State of Massachusetts are considered.
Not sure how to get started? Direct your questions and concerns to our team of Family Law attorneys by scheduling a no-strings-attached, free consultation at 781-279-1822. You'll no doubt find our hassle-less approach helpful as we try to understand you and your situation rather than sell you on our services.
The Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers provides services to the following counties—Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex.