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If asking for alimony changes, you must serve your ex

You cannot get your alimony payments altered, even if they need to be changed because of alterations to the law, without telling your ex. You must serve the papers to your ex so that they can be signed and then filed. The paper you have to serve is known as a summons form, and you can get it from the staff at the court.

In some cases, you may already know that your ex is going to be fine with the change—perhaps the two of you have talked about it in advance. If so, you can simply take the papers to your ex, meet up with a notary public, have your ex sign the documents while the notary watches, and then bring the papers to the court. These steps are not difficult to take, but they must be followed to the letter, especially when it comes to having an official watch to see that the signing is done properly.

In other cases, your ex may not want to sign off on the change. If so, you may not want to bring the paperwork to your ex on your own. Instead, you can have the sheriff or constable do it for you. The county law enforcement officials should be contacted, and they'll serve the papers to your ex in person. Do not simply mail the paperwork to your ex.

After the law enforcement officer has served the papers, they will either be given to you or taken straight to the court by the officer. If you get the paperwork, it's important to then file it with the court as soon as you can.

When asking for alimony changes, be sure you know of all of the legal steps that have to be taken and any applicable deadlines in Massachusetts.

Source: Massachusetts Court System, "Changing Your Alimony," accessed Feb. 11, 2016

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