Modifying An Existing Child Support Order

People can make the mistake of being short-sighted during the divorce process. It is understandable because you are eager to finalize the process and begin moving forward. This can manifest in many ways. For instance, when you craft a parenting plan, how far ahead are you looking? A plan that accommodates a three-year-old child may not work when the child ages and begins attending school. 

Life changes, and you will likely have to go back and adjust your plan to meet your family’s needs. Though we brought up your parenting plan, we will look closely at one component: child support. Whether you pay or receive money, your financial situation will change throughout your life. The challenging component here is that child support will not automatically change when that happens. We will explain when an amendment is warranted and what you must do to adjust it. 

When Can I Amend My Child Support Payments?

The question that many people have is when it is appropriate to pursue a modification to a preexisting child support order. A common reason is that you or your former spouse are making more (or less) money than you were when the order was drafted. There are numerous reasons why this could occur. Either one of you could lose your job, suffer from an injury that prevents you from working as much as you did before, or someone may have gotten a raise. When either parent’s income fluctuates by 25% or more, you should consider speaking with a family law attorney regarding a post-judgment modification. Be aware that this is grounds to pursue one that doesn’t equate to a judge automatically adjusting it because of it. 

Although a change in income is a common reason to change an order, there are other factors to consider. The child’s needs may be different when the original amount was determined. It is paramount that you understand what the purpose of child support is. Child support should be used to support the child through shelter, clothing, food, health care, and education. After knowing that, you could see why a new medical issue could warrant a post-judgment modification. 

The average daycare cost in NJ ranges from $700 to $1200. That could be a significant portion of someone’s income, especially when it is added to a mortgage payment. That is a prime example of how quickly life can change. After a divorce, one spouse may be forced to return to work, or they may choose to do so willingly. Regardless, that may create the need for daycare expenses. (You can also obtain a cost-of-living adjustment without having a hearing, but you should speak to your attorney about this.)

Pursue a Post-Judgment Modification with Csépes Law Offices 

Now that you know when you can pursue a modification, we can address how to do so. Our firm will file for your modification through the Superior Court. A judge will need to determine whether an increase or decrease to your child support order is reasonable and justifiable based on your specific circumstances. For more information about child support or any other issue related to family law, contact Csépes Law Offices to schedule your initial consultation

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Csépes Law Offices Provides Individualized Legal Solutions To Those Needing Family Law, Immigration, Or Real Estate Counsel.

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