Things To Consider Before Modifying a Child Support Order

Do parents need permission from the court if they are both in agreement?
Attorney Christopher Ware
Attorney Christopher Ware
STONEHAM, Mass. - Aug. 12, 2014 - PRLog -- As children get older, the amount of time that children spend with both of their parent’s decreases exponentially.  Sports, extracurricular activities, increased school work, a job, and going out with friends tend to interfere with visitation schedules.  Sometimes kids move from one parent to the other and there is a change in custody.  Many times parents do this without permission from the court because both sides agree, so why do we need to see the judge again?

A change in custody can affect the amount of support paid by the non custodial parent to the custodial parent.  The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines take into account the amount of time spent with each parent.  When custody changes the amount of support also changes.  Parents may adjust custody or support without court approval if in agreement, but this can hurt the parent who reduces or stops paying support. I

In a recent Massachusetts case, Taylor v. Taylor, Mass. App. Ct. 13-P-997, both parents agreed that their daughter could move from dad’s house to mom’s house.  They both agreed that mom would stop paying child support; dad even signed a waiver of support.  Despite this, the court found that the mother was still in contempt for violating a court order.  She was obliged to pay 3 years of accrued child support plus interest and penalties even though her daughter was living and being supported by her the entire time.

The moral of the story-get permission first! To learn more about child support visit

Christopher Ware
Montvale Legal Counsel PRs
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