Modifications of Child Support Orders More Easily Available Under New Standard

No material or substantial change in circumstances is now required to seek modification of a child support order!

In the March 2013 case of Morales v. Morales, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court clarified the standard for modifications of child support orders. Morales v. Morales, SJC-11104, March 12, 2013. In the case, a child’s father was paying child support under an existing order. The father got a promotion and raise, prompting the mother to seek an increase in child support. The trial court denied the request, reasoning that the there had been no “material and substantial change in circumstances” since the initial child support order.

The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed. It held that the child support statute, G. L. c. 208, § 28, requires that modification requests be considered whenever there is an inconsistency between the existing order and the amount that would result from application of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.

Every situation is different, but this clarification makes it easier to seek modification of a child custody order. If child support could be an issue for you, call the attorneys at Hutchins Law, P.C. today.

The purpose of this article is to inform our clients of developments in the law and to provide information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or to assume a client relationship. The content of this article could be considered advertising under the rules of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Copyright © 2012 Hutchins Law, P.C. All Rights Reserved.