Can an order for child support be modified without going to court in MA?

Additional Info: My ex-wife and I agreed to lower child support payments.   Our youngest son is now in public school and we no longer have the pay the exorbitant daycare expense in Wayland. Can an order for child support be modified without going to court?  We modified the divorce agreement and both signed it and even had a neighbor sign as a witness.   Is what we did legally binding?

Attorney Answer:

You can agree to a lower child support payment without an actual order from the Court, but that will be like having an agreement with a gentlemen’s handshake.  You have to consider that if your relationship with your ex-spouse deteriorates and all you have is the original child support order, you could face a complaint for contempt.  It is wisest to have the original order changed or modified.  You can file a Joint Petition for Modification with your ex-wife or you can file a Complaint for Modification and a subsequent Agreement for Judgment on Modification.  You will have to show the Court a substantial change in circumstance(s) that warrants a modification of the original order.    Also, the Court is the final arbiter of child related issues, so the Court will have to find that what you and your ex-wife agree to is fair and reasonable and in the child’s best interest.

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