In Massachusetts and elsewhere, when a support amount is set by the court it is determined by one’s circumstances at the time the order was requested. What happens, though, if there is a change in circumstances that effects the monetary needs for a child? Can a current child support order be modified?

Your divorce is done, you have primary custody of your children and your ex is paying his or her ordered support payment. Then something happens — one of your children is hurt in a serious accident or experiences a serious medical event. The bills are piling up because insurance and child support simply are not covering the expense on top of all of your other children’s needs. What do you do?

If a child suffers some sort of significant medical issue that requires extensive care — temporarily or permanently, — the use of medical equipment for day-to-day living and/or extended rehabilitation — it is amazing how fast bills can grow. When the medical problem is something that will affect the child long term, yes, it may be possible to seek a child support adjustment in order to get increased financial support from the noncustodial parent. To seek a modification of a current order, you will have to file the appropriate petition in court and supply proof of the child’s new needs.

When a modification request is submitted, there is no guarantee that a Massachusetts family court will approve it — even if your child’s needs have changed. Having an experienced family law attorney at your side and ready to fight for the adjustment may prove helpful to your cause. To learn more about child support modifications and how an attorney can assist you in seeking one, please visit our firm’s website.