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New Jersey child support modifications: Legitimate reasons needed

Raising kids is typically an expensive endeavor. When they are infants, parents fork out a ton of money on diapers and other baby supplies. As they grow, their needs grow with them, and by the time they are teenagers, many New Jersey parents quip that they feel like they must take out a second mortgage on their home just to afford all the sports fees, clothing and food that are part of their children's everyday needs. In divorce situations, high cost of living and other issues often prompt a need for child support modifications.

If a non-custodial parent is ordered to pay child support, he or she must adhere to the terms of the court order. If the parent loses a job, falls ill or somehow encounters some other situation that sparks a financial crisis, he or she cannot stop making support payments on time. The state understands that financial problems can be quite serious. However, there is a system in place that a paying parent must navigate in order to temporarily lessen or halt child support payments.

When petitioning the court for a reduction in monthly payments, a parent must show just cause for the request. This might include medical or employment documentation, or other proof that shows why he or she is unable to continue meeting the obligations of the current plan. A parent is said to be in arrears if he or she has unpaid debt that is overdue.

Unless and until such modification is granted, however, a parent ordered to pay support must continue making payments on time or risk being held in contempt of court. In most situations, a custodial co-parent must agree to a request for child support modifications. A New Jersey family law attorney can provide guidance and assistance to any parent wishing to file a modification petition in court.

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