Unlike many other court decisions, a New Jersey parent can ask for a family law court to revisit a child support order from time to time. This is because New Jersey law recognizes that the circumstances of parents and their children oftentimes change, and these changes can make what was once a fair child support order both impractical and unjust.
For instance, a parent who is paying support and suddenly, and through no fault of their own, finds themselves unemployed or seriously underemployed, may need to get a support modification in order to make ends meet, even if they would like to do more for their children.
On the other hand, a parent receiving support has the right to ask for more money in child support if the economic circumstances of the other parent have improved.
To get a modification of child support after a divorce or paternity case, the person who wants the modification will have to show that the circumstances have changed with respect to the family’s situation and that these changes would call for a different amount of child support were they appropriately considered. A parent may ask a court to consider modifying support by filing the proper request with the court.
The key to proving a change in circumstances is that the parent who wants the modification in support has to prove that the change will be permanent as opposed to just a short-term change in one’s economic circumstances. For instance, a person who is seasonally employed or who is a small business owner who is just having a down year probably would not qualify for a modification.
Pursuing a modification of a child support order may seem simple enough, but it can actually be quite complicated and is often contentious. For these reasons, many New Jersey parents find it helpful to get the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.