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4 Common Grounds for Modifying a Child Support Order

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Child Custody And Visitation

When it comes to child support, the order issued by the court stands as the rule to follow. Yet, we all know life doesn’t stay the same. When significant changes occur, it’s possible to adjust your child support order to match the new circumstances better.

New Jersey’s laws on changing child custody

In New Jersey, the law understands that families evolve. Parents can petition the court for a modification of a child support order if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” for the child or for either parent. Let’s explore what changes most judges would consider substantial:

  • Relocation: If a parent moves out of state, the current custody plan can become impractical or even impossible.
  • Child’s changing needs: A child’s medical, educational, psychological, or emotional needs can evolve over time, possibly requiring more time in one location or a more equal custody split.
  • Not sticking to the plan: If a parent consistently violates the custody order, for example by failing to deliver the child for parenting time shifts, the other parent could seek a change to sole custody.
  • Safety first: Any signs that a child’s well-being is at risk due to abuse, neglect, or an unsafe home environment by a parent could be grounds to modify the plan.

As with any family law matter involving a child, the child’s best interests are a primary consideration.

When parents disagree

If both parents can agree on the need for a change, modifying the child support order can be a smooth process. This mutual agreement can help ensure the child’s needs continue to be met without unnecessary delay.

However, if one parent contests the other’s proposed modification, the process can become more involved. This may lead to negotiations or even court proceedings to reach a new agreement. In these situations, the guidance of a family law attorney can be crucial. An attorney who focuses on family law can provide support and help you understand your rights and options.