Even if you’ve already solidified your child support order in court, you can return to court to request a modification if your circumstances change. If you’re a New Jersey resident, here are some tips for making permanent or short-term changes to your child support arrangement.
When you should request a modification
Children of separated or divorced parents have a right to the same type of support they would receive if they were living in a two-parent home. This support is the responsibility of both parents and the exact terms for child support are established in court.
At a hearing in family law court, each parent must present proof of their ability to pay child support. Parents must submit their pay stubs and most recent tax returns for the judge to review. The courts will then determine fair payments based on each parent’s income.
Reasons for modifications
Either parent can request modifications to a child support agreement. A change in income is the most common reason for a modification, but there are other factors to consider.
If a parent receives an increase in income due to a job change, inheritance, or promotion, the custodial parent can request that the court order the non-custodial parent to pay more in child support. However, if a custodial parent loses their job or can not meet their financial obligations, they can request a payment increase in child support for this reason as well.
Parents can also request child support modifications if the child’s needs change. For instance, if a child is in need of additional medical care, is taking on a new hobby or sport, or will be attending private school, the court will consider making changes to the child support order.