Can I Modify a Child Support Settlement in New Jersey?

When a couple goes through a divorce, they are required to settle their marital issues. If they are parents, one of these issues is child support. Child support is payments that are made from one parent to another to continue financial support for their child even after the divorce. Once a decision regarding these payments is reached, it is approved by the court and thus considered the law. This requires the agreement to be followed, otherwise, it can be enforced by the court. 

However, the New Jersey court system is aware that the lives of a family can change as they go on. There are cases in which a family’s situation changes and their support settlement does not work for them anymore. This is why courts sometimes allow post-judgment modifications. This can change the amount that is paid in support so that it can better suit the new family circumstances.

Determining Child Support

Every family is different, therefore they are treated as such in court. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to child support. It is because of this that the state created the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to determine a fair amount in child support. This calculates the two parents’ combined yearly income between $8,840 and $187,200 with the cost of living for their child. With this method, the court is able to determine an amount that provides the child with a stable life that they were accustomed to before the divorce.

For families that are outside of the Guidelines bracket, the court takes other factors into consideration. This can include: 

  • Each parents’ financial status
  • Who has physical custody
  • Each parent’s income, debt, and assets
  • Each parent’s earning capacity and work history
  • The child’s needs, age, health, and education
  • Cost of living for the child

Child Support Modifications

Divorce allows two former spouses’ lives to go on without one another. Often times, this presents them with new life circumstances. Sometimes, this can affect their ability to handle child support payments. In addition to this, a child’s need to receive payments can also change. When this happens, a parent may request a modification of their settlement. This may ask for an increase or decrease in the amount that is being paid. There are many reasons as to why a parent may want a modification. This can include:

  • A change in custody arrangements
  • Loss of employment
  • An increase or decrease in income
  • If a child requires money for medical treatments

If a parent wants to modify their child support agreement, the court requires them to prove that the changes in their life are significant and ongoing. Only then may they receive the adjustment they are looking for.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.