New Jersey Child Support
In the State of New Jersey, both parents are obligated and have a duty to financially support their children and meet any and all needs. As a New Jersey child support lawyer, Sylvia S. Costantino has the experience you need to assist in all aspects of child support from calculating support pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines to modification and enforcement.
Child support is paid through the Probation Division in the County of the payor’s residence. However, the parties can agree to a “direct pay” arrangement between them although visit our blog for the pros and cons of direct pay arrangements. For the most part, the payor’s wages are garnished for child support or the payor sends support payments to their local Probation Division on either a weekly or biweekly basis.
Due to recent economic trends, many otherwise successful professionals have been laid off from their jobs or have had their employment downsized. Those individuals and their families should know that drastic changes in income may give rise to a child support modification.
If your income has been decreased, it is critical that you attend to getting your child support modified as quickly as possible. Failure to do so can have negative consequences as unpaid child support arrears continue to add up.
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Contact the Law Offices of Sylvia S. Costantino, Esq., LLC
New Jersey takes the issue of child support very seriously and support arrears are a growing problem in New Jersey especially in today’s economy. There are severe consequences for not paying child support including a warrant for arrest, ruining your credit score, suspension of your driver’s license and professional licenses being suspended or revoked.
Post-Divorce Modifications to NJ Child Support
Child support is money paid by one parent to another after a divorce to meet the essential needs of their children such as, shelter, food, clothing, education, and healthcare. Under New Jersey law, the “obligee” is typically the custodial parent and the one who receives child support payments from the “obligor”, the parent who pays the child support. While support is paid to the parent, it does not belong to that parent, but is intended to meet the needs of the child.
The guidelines that establish support awards are based on various factors, and modifications can be made to the award if necessitated by changes in the child’s needs or the parents’ financial circumstances.
Child support amounts may be either increased or decreased. Changes that warrant modifications to a child support order include, but are not limited to:
- Increase or decrease in obligor’s income
- Increase in obligee’s income
- Obligee begins living with another adult
- Child’s needs change
- Child or either parent sustains a serious injury or illness after the original award
Additionally, under New Jersey law, a cost of living adjustment (COLA) is made automatically every two years. This increase ensures the child support award keeps pace with inflation. The obligor may contest the COLA however, if the obligor’s income has not increased equally. This method allows for modest upward modification without the need for legal intervention.
How to Modify Child Support in New Jersey
If the need arises for either parent to request modifications to the child support award, a motion must be filed asking the Superior Court to grant a modification. This entails attaching a copy of the court order to be changed, copies of previous and current case information statements, sworn statements, and legal arguments to the motion. Be sure to include sufficient financial documentation to demonstrate your need to the judge.
The judge will then decide the motion for child support modification by ascertaining whether there is sufficient need, based on provided documentation, for an increase or decrease in the award. Additionally, the judge must determine if the changes to financial circumstances are believed to continue for any length of time.
Contact New Jersey Child Support Lawyers
The loss of a job, the evolving needs of growing children, and a number of other factors can necessitate the need for modifications to your original child support order. If you believe your financial situation has changed dramatically enough to warrant a modification, call the Law Offices of Sylvia S. Costantino, Esq. LLC. Our experienced New Jersey child support attorneys will guide you through the complete modification process and will work hard to achieve a satisfactory solution for all involved.
We specialize in Monmouth County child support representation.
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