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What else do we have to file to change a judgment or order that deals with financial issues?

Produced by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp
Reviewed November 2017

Financial issues include alimony, property division, life insurance for former spouse, and health insurance for former spouse, and child support.

If you file an agreement to change a judgment or order about financial issues, file:

In all cases that involve:

you must file a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.

Important

If:

  • either of you owes the state past due child support, or
  • either of you gets public assistance, or
  • your child gets public assistance,

you must get the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE) to agree with the change in writing.

DOR/CSE says that it agrees at the bottom of page 2 of the Joint Petition/Motion To Change a Judgment or Temporary Order form. They sign below Assent of the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division.

Changing child support to an amount that is different from the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet amount

The judge can order a different amount of child support from the amount on the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. This is called “deviation.” If you ask the judge to deviate from the amount on the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, use the court form Findings and Determinations for Child Support and Post-Secondary Education. Fill out page 3, Deviation - Section IV. of the 2017 Child Support Guidelines. File the page with your agreement.

See How do Judges decide to order a different amount of child support? 

Ending child support at age 18

If you and the other parent agree to end child support when your child turns 18, say so in your agreement.  You can write something like “Child support ends when our child turns 18.” Where it says “our child” you can put your child’s name.

You must write into your Agreement a sentence that says:

“The parts of General Laws, chapter 208, section 28 and chapter 209C, section 9 about children over 18 and under 23 do not apply.”

What is this sentence about?

These laws say the court can make orders for

  • support, maintenance, and education for children between 18 and 21, if they live with their parent and are mainly dependent on that parent for their maintenance; and
  • 21 and 22 year olds if they live with one of their parents.  They must also be mainly dependent on that parent for their maintenance and be in school or college.

Chapter 208, section 28 applies to the children of parents who are or were married to each other.  Chapter 209C, section 9 applies to the children of parents who were never married to each other.

When you file a Financial Statement

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