Modification of Child Support Orders in New Jersey

What Is the Legal Process for Changing a Child Support Obligation?

modification-of-child-support-orders-in-new-jerseyCourts issue child support Orders. However, these are always open to modification. When can you ask the court to amend a child support order? What is the process for modifying an existing child support obligation?

The Standard for Getting Judicial Review of an Existing Child Support Order

If you want to modify the terms of your child support agreement, you must petition the court for a change and the judge must issue a new order. However, before the judge will even consider your motion to modify the existing child support obligation, you must demonstrate that either you or your spouse have experienced “changed circumstances.” In New Jersey, that means that you must show new circumstances that are:

  • Not temporary
  • Substantial
  • Unanticipated when the existing order was issued

The parent who seeks the change in the support order will have the burden of proving these elements. If you expect the changes to last for a limited period of time, or if the changes are expected, but haven’t occurred yet, the court will likely reject your request for modification.

If, however, you successfully convince the judge that the changes are not temporary, substantial and unexpected, your request will go to the next phase. At this point, the judge will ask for full financial information from both parties. Based on all the information provided and on any other relevant evidence, the judge will make a decision on the modification request, either rejecting it or issuing a new order.

When determining a new payment amount, the court can consider a wide range of factors, including:

  • The needs of the child
  • The income and assets of both parents
  • The standard of living of each parent
  • The potential earning capacity of each parent
  • The need and capacity of the child for education (including college education)
  • The age and health of the child and each parent
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant

Contact the Law Office of David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.

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