If you have a minor child that doesn’t live with you, you’re likely paying child support. The moment you no longer live with that child, regardless of his or her age, you become liable for child support. You probably negotiated an agreement for child support and had it filed with the court, or the court told you what you had to pay. 

However, there comes a time that you may need to modify your child support payments. Circumstances change as your children grow up. Perhaps you lost a job or had another child. Perhaps the custodial parent is now earning more money than he or she was when you first signed the agreement or got the court order. 

Whatever the reason, child support obligations can be changed.  You’re allowed to request a modification to your child support payments. Remember, however, that child support’s purpose is to make sure your child is provided for in the same manner as if both parents raised the child together. The modification of child support should not disrupt this goal. 

When Can I Modify Child Support Payments?

The question isn’t “can I modify child support payments?” The question is when. New Jersey allows parents to file a request to modify child support payments with the court if there has been a change of circumstances with either parent. In New Jersey a request can be made if:

  • A parent loses a job
  • A parent obtains a job making more money
  • A parent has taken on more parenting time or loses parenting time
  • A parent is experiencing a major health issue
  • The child is experiencing a major health issue
  • A parent becomes permanently disabled
  • The child requires more or less in the way of expenses
  • The supporting parent has other children born that he or she must support

Getting married (or getting divorced from a future spouse) alone doesn’t play a role in modifying child support payments. Gaining (or losing) a spouse is not a factor in the amount paid for child support, which means that it doesn’t create a basis to modify child support. 

What Do I Need to Request a Modification of Child Support Payments?

Before proceeding with a request for child support modifications, you’ll want to make sure you have supporting documents in place. These supporting documents include proof of job loss, medical issues, an increase of income, or the birth of another child. This will provide the evidence the court needs to show this isn’t a frivolous filing, but a necessary one to help continue providing for your family as well as manage your life. 

If you are looking to modify child support payments, contact the attorneys at Keith Family Law. Our firm is looking forward to making sure you and your needs are properly represented.

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