Child Support Modification
Child Support Modification Lawyer in Camden County, NJ
Skilled Family Lawyer Dedicated to Helping Clients Obtain Child Support Modifications in Cherry Hill, NJ
Child support obligations in New Jersey are initially determined based on an extremely specific set of guidelines used by the courts to determine how each parent should be required to continue to support their children financially. Child support arrangements in Camden County, New Jersey can be modified even after they have been “finalized”, however, to reflect changes in a parent or child’s circumstances. Either party to the agreement can request a child support modification if that party has a justifiable reason for requesting that modification.
Because New Jersey child support agreements are formulated strategically, based on a specific set of criteria, the advice of an experienced child support modification lawyer can prove critical to successfully obtaining the modification that you need. At the Law Offices of Lois G. Schwartz, I know that the financial circumstances of you or your child’s parent may change over time, and am resolute and resourceful in my fight to help you obtain a fair child support modification that reflects your current reality. My extensive experience successfully advocating for my clients as a family lawyer has allowed me to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to go to work for you today.
Standards for Modifying Existing Child Support Arrangements in New Jersey
In order to gain court approval to modify an existing child support arrangement, it is necessary to prove that a change in circumstances has occurred and that the change is permanent, substantial, and could not be anticipated at the time the original child support agreement was reached. Examples of changes in circumstances that could possibly justify modifying a child support agreement include:
- A substantial and permanent increase or decrease in the paying parent’s income,
- Significant cost-of-living changes,
- A parent’s illness or disability that would justify the need to decrease his or her child support obligations,
- A child’s illness, disability or other special needs that would justify an increase in the paying parent’s support obligations,
- A change in the cost of the child’s education,
- A change in the child’s need for support, such as the child’s full-time employment,
- Significant changes to tax laws,
- Circumstances where the parent who receives the support begins cohabitation with another adult, which reduces the need for support.
The parent requesting the change will be required to submit detailed financial documentation, as well as provide information that proves why the child support modification is justified. If that party satisfies the court that the modification may be justified, the other parent may also be required to submit detailed financial information. The court will consider a number of factors in deciding whether to grant a request for modification, including:
- The permanence of the change in circumstances,
- The child’s ongoing or changing need for support,
- Each party’s standard of living,
- All income and debts of each parent and child,
- Each parent’s earning capacity, including the ability of either party to earn additional income,
- The age, health and additional financial responsibilities of each parent and child, and
- Any other factors that the court finds to be relevant.
It is important to remember that a child support modification will not automatically be granted because the paying parent has lost his or her job. In many circumstances, the court will view this loss of income as temporary, and will also evaluate whether the paying parent has other sources of income available to continue to satisfy his or her child support obligations.
The paying parent’s retirement can also justify a modification in a child support award if the court finds that the parent retired in good faith (in other words, for good reason) and that the impact of the reduction in child support on the child would be minimal.
Experienced Family Lawyer Lois Garber Schwartz Will Fight to Obtain Your Child Support Modification
At the Law Offices of Lois G. Schwartz, I use my 35-plus years of experience as a child support modification lawyer to formulate a strong case for each of my clients who are facing a potential child support modification. My detail-oriented approach to legal representation means that I evaluate the totality of the circumstances in each of my clients’ cases to develop a strategy designed to obtain the most favorable outcome possible in each case.
Contact a Reputable Child Support Modification Lawyer to Discuss Your Cherry Hill Case Today
A court is unlikely to modify an existing child support arrangement without specific and strong evidence that such a modification is warranted under the circumstances. If your circumstances change so that you need help modifying an existing child support agreement, you need an experienced Cherry Hill child support lawyer in your corner to fight on your behalf. Contact my offices over the phone, or by filling out this online form, to schedule a confidential consultation with a reputable child custody lawyer today. My offices are centrally located at 1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support Modification
A child support modification lawyer will complete and submit a motion with the court that sets forth the rationale for the change, and the actual change that is requested. The necessary paperwork involves submitting a copy of the court order that sets forth the current child support arrangement, supporting affidavits that outline the change in circumstances and a legal brief that details the party’s arguments. The court will evaluate all of the documentation that was submitted and may schedule a hearing where both parties can present their case.
In New Jersey, child support payments are adjusted for inflation every two years, based on the rate of inflation set by the Consumer Price Index. These cost of living adjustments (or COLAs) are generally minimal, but serve to ensure that the child support award is realistic and changes as living expenses and income levels increase. A COLA can be contested if the paying parent is able to prove that his or her income has not increased with inflation over time.