What if I Can’t Pay my Child Support?
Child support arrangements are generally made at the time of a divorce or when unmarried parents are establishing a financial agreement. The terms therein are calculated based on state regulations which take several factors into account, including the financial situation of both parents, child custody, and/or parenting time, income, and more. If you are responsible for paying child support and you are no longer able to afford your payments, what legal recourse is available?
Today, our child support and divorce attorney will identify the causes and avenues for modifying child support agreements for parents in New Jersey. Call our office today to learn more about how our firm may be able to serve your child support, child custody, divorce, or any other family law legal needs.
Is It Possible to Modify or Terminate Existing Child Support Agreements in Union County, NJ?
The short answer is yes, it is possible to either modify or terminate child support agreements for co-parents. However, in order to do so the parent requesting the modification must show sufficient reasoning as to why these changes should be made. Our Union County attorney will strive to show that you experienced unexpected, significant, and permanent changes in circumstance which have made your existing child support agreement unjust and/or untenable.
The “unexpected” portion of these requirements can be easily overlooked, but it is equally important in the eyes of the law. It essentially means that when your child support agreement was signed, there was no reasonable way to anticipate this change in circumstance. An example of a change in circumstance which might be considered unexpected, substantial, and permanent, would be a sudden illness.
There is no real way to anticipate that a co-parent would become seriously ill, affecting their ability to work, their finances, and even potentially their ability to adhere to an existing child custody agreement. In this case, modification to a child support agreement might be available.
Westfield Child Support Attorney Identifies Causes for Child Support Agreement Modification
As per the previous section, your Westfield child support attorney will seek to demonstrate that you underwent a major change in circumstance which may be cause to modify or terminate your child support agreement. The following changes in circumstance may be considered sufficient:
- A reduction to the payor’s salary or income
- Substantial increase to the cost of living
- Losing a family home or property
- Onset of an illness or disability which is affecting the finances of the payor
- Losing a family-owned business
- Other substantial financial loss
Each child support modification hearing will be determined on a case by case basis. If you have undergone a life-altering change since signing a child support agreement, you may be eligible to have the terms adjusted in accordance with your new financial situation. Our Westfield legal team will then petition the local court system to have your case reviewed. This will begin the child support process anew, with a judge ruling on the fairness of your existing agreement based on the current circumstances.
Contact a Linden Child Support Modification Attorney Today
Edward S. Cooper, Esq. understands that although parents have the best intentions when signing a child support agreement, situations can change quickly and without warning. For child support payors who find themselves unable to make required payments, Attorney Cooper may be able to successfully navigate a child support modification as he has done for clients in New Jersey towns including Plainfield, Union, Westfield, Linden, Scotch Plains, and the greater Union County region. Lean on the experience he has cultivated through securing successful child support modifications for clients who have undergone major changes in circumstances.
Contact our firm online or through our Linden offices by calling (908) 481-4625 today for a confidential consultation with a member of our legal team regarding your child support dispute, modification, or any other family law legal concerns.