Requesting Child Support Modifications
When parents divorce a child’s well-being should be the priority. Child support payments make sure that children are given opportunities to succeed, that their needs are met, and that financial support is shared appropriately by parents.
At the time of a divorce, child support plans are based on factors such as income and assets, to ensure that payments are as fair as possible. However, financial situations change. If a child support payment plan is no longer appropriate, it is time to consider child support modifications. Here, child support lawyer Jeffrey W. Goldblatt, serving East Brunswick, Freehold, and Wall, NJ, discusses reasons to petition for child support modifications and outlines the process of making the request.
Reasons for Child Support Modification
Over time personal situations change. Years after a divorce one parent may find themselves wondering if their child support payment plan is still fair. Child support modifications can be granted by the court in certain situations, but generally the individual filing for the request must be able to show that at least one parent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances since the initial child support payment plan was ordered. Common reasons for child support modifications include:
- Involuntary loss of income (i.e. being laid off or terminated)
- Substantial increase or decrease in a parent’s income
- Custody or visitation changes
- One parent remarries
- One parent has another child or children
- The child’s needs change (possibly due to medical or educational reasons)
Filing for Child Support Modification
Any request for child support modification must be made through the court. The filing parent must submit the request to the same court that ordered the initial child support payments. If both parents agree to the modification, making the new payment plan official may be as simple as filing the petition with the court and getting it approved by a judge. However, if both parents are not in agreement, a hearing will likely be necessary.
If a child modification request goes to a hearing, it is a good idea to have a knowledgeable child support lawyer working on your behalf. Each party will be given the chance to argue their case before the judge as to why the modification should or should not be approved. Parents should be prepared to support their argument with evidence, which may include proof of income and expenses. Attorney Goldblatt helps clients gather the documents that are necessary to strengthen their case.
Are Child Support Modifications Permanent?
Child support modifications may be permanent or temporary, depending on why the request is granted. Generally, child modifications are considered permanent if the changes that warrant them are also permanent. For instance, if a parent marries, changes jobs, or experiences a substantial change in income, those changes are expected to be long-lasting. Conversely, child modifications can be temporarily ordered for short-term situations, such as a temporary loss of income or a short-term medical emergency.
If your child support payment plan is no longer suitable for your situation, child support lawyer Jeffrey W. Goldblatt can help you file for a child support modification. To discuss the details of your situation and find out how much payments may change, contact us online, or call (732) 238-8700 and schedule a consultation.