Child support is a complex issue between parents. Certainly, most New Jersey parents understand their responsibility to provide for their children even when they are no longer in a relationship with the other parent. However, the inflexible and sometimes burdensome obligation a court order or settlement imposes can create a hardship under certain circumstances. On the other hand, depending on a former partner for child support payments as expenses accumulate and prices increase can be a burden of its own.
If enough time has passed since the court ordered or approved a child support amount, it is possible that a parent can seek a change in that amount by filing for a modification. For example, a supporting parent who has lost a job, suffered a medical crisis or is in some other way experiencing a financial setback may seek to have the court lower the amount of his or her monthly payments. This may be either a permanent or temporary change.
A parent who receives support may request a higher amount from the former partner if significant reasons for the increase exist. The court may consider raising support amounts if the child’s medical expenses unexpectedly increase or other expenses created a serious need. A parent may also request more money if the supporting parent has had a significant increase in income.
Seeking child support modifications is not something parents should do frivolously or frequently. The courts are not eager to approve changes in support payments. Therefore, those in New Jersey who are considering seeking a change in their child support order would be wise to reach out for solid legal counsel before proceeding.