As the posts on this blog often point out, divorce can have very significant financial ramifications for New Jersey residents. Those who are crafty in their legal dealing regarding marriage dissolution can find themselves exiting marriage on firm financial footing. Those who fail to do so, though, can end up on hard times living a lifestyle that is far below that which they enjoyed during their marriage.
One divorce legal issue that can have a profound, long-lasting financial impact is child support. We have discussed the basics of child support determination previously on the blog, but the matter is not put to rest once an initial child support order is entered. Instead, child support can be subject to modification over time when life changes warrant it. Though many think of these modifications as decreasing a noncustodial parent’s financial obligation, they can also seek to increase the amount of child support owed.
Child support may be decreased under a number of circumstances. A job loss, the onset of an unexpected illness, or a change in the amount of time a noncustodial parent spends with a child may all warrant a child support modification. Also, New Jersey law allows review of child support orders every three years. So, if at one of these review hearings the noncustodial parent’s income has significantly increased, then an increase in the support obligation may be ordered by the court.
Before modifying child support, though, a court must be presented with evidence. This means that parents, whether custodial or noncustodial, need to be prepared to make strong legal arguments buttressed by documentary and, if necessary, testimonial evidence. An attorney who is experienced in handling these matters can best build these arguments so that one’s financial interests are protected.