Maplewood Child Support Modification Lawyer
Both parents are obligated under New Jersey law to financially support their children after separating. Because of this, courts require the higher-earning of the two to pay assistance to the lesser-earning co-parent through a child support order. While the terms of these orders are created to be fair, they do not always remain that way, especially if one or both parents go through significant life changes.
If your order no longer matches your child’s financial needs or your financial capacity to provide support, there are options moving forward. Our Maplewood child support modification lawyers could be key to resolving the issue in a proactive and efficient way. Even if you and the other parent agree that a modification is necessary, our seasoned child support attorney’s assistance could greatly simplify the process.
Potential Grounds for Modification of a Support Order
Once a court demands that a parent provides financial support to the other, the terms of that order remain enforceable until the child turns 18 years old or becomes emancipated. The order may no longer be enforceable if the parent receiving payments remarries or one parent passes away.
The terms of an order can only be changed in advance of one of those events through another court order. New Jersey family courts generally acquiesce to modifications if the circumstances of one or both parents have changed significantly since the original order went into effect.
In a legal sense, “changed circumstances” are unanticipated, permanent, and substantial enough to make an existing child support order untenable. Some of the more common grounds for child custody modification that attorneys in Maplewood see include a:
- Significant increase or decrease in income from work
- Significant financial windfall for one parent from inheritance or some other means
- Change in the child’s medical, educational, or personal needs
- Change in one parent’s ability to earn income, such as newly acquired education or a serious injury that prevents them from working
- Substantial increase or decrease in one parent’s cost of living
- Changes in federal income tax laws
A diligent legal team could clarify what may or may not warrant a change to a support order during an initial consultation.
Seeking a Child Support Modification in a Maplewood Court
Whether both parents want to pursue a support order modification together or one parent wants to request a change by themselves, the petitioning party has the burden of motioning for the court to alter the existing order. They also must prove that their circumstances have changed significantly enough to warrant a modification. If the court agrees that a change is appropriate, both parents must submit a case information statement containing information about their current financial circumstances.
Based on this statement and various other factors, the court would then issue a new support order to replace the outdated one. Representation from a well-versed attorney in Maplewood can be key to advocating for a particular parent’s best interests during the child support modification proceeding.
A Maplewood Child Support Modification Attorney Could Help
Changing the terms of a child support order in New Jersey is far from a simple task, even if there is no opposition from the other parent. You will need to provide evidence that your existing order no longer matches your circumstances. Until you successfully convince a court to issue a modification, the original order will remain legally enforceable.
Our Maplewood child support modification lawyers could be a crucial source of legal expertise and practical advice throughout every step of this process. Learn more by calling our office today.