Modifications & Contempts

If you already have a family court order, you may have to return to court at some point to either change an order (Complaint for Modification) or to enforce an order that the other party is not following (Complaint for Contempt).

In order to be successful on a Complaint for Modification, the filing party must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that have occurred since the last time you were in court to justify changing the existing order. Here are some of the more common requests sought in a Complaint for Modification:

  • To increase or decrease child support;
  • To change or terminate an alimony order;
  • To make changes to the current parenting schedule;
  • To modify legal custody or have a judge make a decision on an important issue relating to legal custody of a child on which the parents cannot agree; and
  • If one parent wants to move out of state* with the child and the other parent objects.
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On a Complaint for Contempt, the filing party must show that the other party wilfully violated a clear and unequivocal court order. In layman's terms, this means that the other party intentionally did not follow a court order that was not vague or open to varying interpretations. A common example of a contempt is when one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other parent on a weekly basis and does not pay anything or does not pay the full amount. In filing a Complaint for Contempt, the filing party can also seek reimbursement of attorney's fees if the other party is found guilty of contempt.

Our compassionate and experienced legal team stands ready to assist you with your Modification and Contempt matters. Get started with us today by scheduling a consultation.

You can also call (508) 635-8965 or fill out our contact form.

*In Massachusetts, these are known as "removal" cases. This is an extremely fact-driven and nuanced area of law, and we encourage you to seek legal counsel if you are seeking to move out of state with your child or trying to prevent the other parent from moving with your child.

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