As any single New Jersey parent knows, raising a child is costly. A child support order setting up regular payments from the other parent allows a parent to adequately provide for their child. Child support payments are based on the income of each parent and several other factors and are generally set at an amount that allows a child’s needs to be met, while not putting significant financial strain on the paying parent.
However, what happens if circumstances change? The parent receiving child support may lose their job or find themselves facing additional child related expenses. This often happens as a child grows older and becomes involved in additional activities or programs. Additionally, the parent responsible for paying child support may experience changes in income, which may alter the amount available for paying child support.
Filing a motion to modify child support
New Jersey law allows a child support order to be changed by filing a motion to modify the amount of support. The court will consider modifying the amount of child support paid if there is evidence showing a change in circumstances of either parent.
A change in circumstances can be any of the examples mentioned above, or any other changes that demonstrate to the court that a change in the amount of child support is warranted. There are some scenarios that a parent may not consider, but may still qualify as a change in circumstances, such as one parent inheriting a large sum of money, or a child sustaining a long-term injury that results in higher medical costs.
Are my changes enough?
If your circumstances have changed, but you aren’t sure if the changes are valid enough for the court to modify your child support order, it may help to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can review your specific situation and give you an idea of your chance of success. If you do pursue a motion to modify child support, there are several steps to be followed and it is important to have guidance throughout the process.