Post Divorce Matters/Contempt and Modification in Massachusetts
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In the situation where one party violates the terms of the divorce judgment, it may be necessary to seek the court's assistance to rectify the situation and to require compliance with the terms of the separation agreement and judgment. This process is initiated with a complaint for contempt.
Common areas where a contempt may be pursued concern child support, alimony or spousal support, parenting issues, property distribution and division of assets.
In many cases, issues will arise even years after a divorce, often involving issues regarding children as they have grown and their needs have changed, or financial issues where there is a change in income or, in the case of alimony or spousal support, of living conditions. Although a division of assets is generally final, a modification of a divorce judgment can be sought with respect to custody and support issues, including both child support and spousal support, in the face of a "material change of circumstances."
For example, the need to relocate out of state with the children, the need for an increase or decrease in parenting time, or a significant change in income are just a few of the reasons that may necessitate a change in your original divorce judgment. Depending on the circumstances, these changes may be accomplished by agreement, or may necessitate filing a complaint for modification and proceeding through the court.