This summer, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court announced changes to Rule 412 of the Supplemental Rules of the Probate and Family Court. These changes went into effect on August 1, 2013. The changes to Rule 412 allow parties to jointly request modification of a judgment or order of the Probate and Family Court where:
- the parties are in agreement;
- the agreement is in writing; and
- all other requirements of the Rules are met.
Following this procedure – and assuming that the parties’ file is otherwise in order – will allow the parties to be granted a modification without having to appear in court.
Previously, Rule 412 addressed only child support judgment modifications, and if the parties were in agreement regarding a modification of child support, they were required to file a joint petition for modification of child support. The parties would not be required to appear in court.
Rule 412 has now been expanded to allow parties to modify temporary orders in addition to final judgments, and to modify judgments or orders other than child support using this procedure as well. These changes will allow the courts to handle more cases administratively and help to alleviate backed up clerk’s offices in the probate and family courts throughout the state.
If you are interested in modifying a judgment or order of the Probate and Family Court with the assent of the other party, contact a local family law attorney to learn about your options and the newly simplified procedure.
A complete copy of Massachusetts Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 412: Uncontested Actions to Modify a Judgment or Order can be read in the link provided.
About the Firm. Vaughn-Martel Law represents parents and children throughout Massachusetts in divorce, child custody, modifications, co-parenting, and all aspects of family creation and family law. If you have a question about your specific parenting plan, marital settlement agreement, or court order, or wish to speak to an attorney about effectively parenting with a former spouse or partner, we invite you to contact us.