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Can child support obligations be modified?

| Jun 8, 2021 | Child Support And Alimony |

Parents in New Jersey have many expenses each month. Many of these expenses revolve around the expenses they incur while raising their children. Parents need to ensure that they have a home, food and clothing at a minimum, but there are many costs that parents incur in addition to that. Parents may pay for health insurance either through their employer-sponsored plan or privately. They may also have child-care costs depending on the age of the child.

In addition to those basic costs, parents will also pay for their children’s sports, music and other activities. They will help pay for entertainment, travel and other expenses. All these costs add up and raising children can be expensive. It is important that both parents are contributing as well. This is true whether the parents are married or divorced. However, if they are divorced, to ensure that both parents are still contributing one parent may be ordered to pay child support to the other parent.

Child support is initially set when parents divorce. This could occur when the children are still young and have many years until they are on their own. There can be many changes not only in the children’s lives, but also the lives of the parents. Due to these changes the amount that was set when the children were young may no longer be appropriate.

Basis for modification of child support

Child support orders are reviewed every three years, but if a parent wants to change it prior to the third year, they need to demonstrate that there is a change in the circumstances that is permanent, substantial and not expected. This could be a loss of a job, significant changes in the need of the child or a change in the parenting time schedule.

Many parents in New Jersey have child support orders. Circumstances will inevitably change as the children grow older. Some of these changes will affect the financial situation of the parents or the financial needs of a child. Modification of child support awards are very fact-specific matters and consulting with an experienced attorney could be beneficial.

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