If you are a noncustodial parent, there is a good chance that you are making monthly child support payments. When calculating your monthly payment, a New Jersey judge will look at factors such as your income and the number of children that you need to support. In the event that your financial circumstances change, it may be possible to request a modification to an existing order.
Modifications can be temporary or permanent
Let’s say that you were furloughed from your job and expect to be back to work within 90 days. A judge may allow you to make reduced payments until the furlough ends or make other arrangements to ease the financial hardship that it has caused. However, if you don’t expect to go back to work within a few months, a request for a permanent modification might be granted.
Temporary modifications may also be made to account for any significant expenses that your child has incurred. For instance, you may be ordered to contribute an extra $100 a month over the course of a year to help pay for braces, a tutor or other reasonable costs related to raising a son or daughter.
Custodial parents may seek modifications as well
If your child’s other parent loses his or her job, a judge may order you to provide extra financial support. You may also be ordered to provide health insurance for your child if possible. In the event that you receive a large inheritance, a raise at work or some other type of financial windfall, your former partner may seek a change to an existing child support order.
Failing to adhere to a child support order could result in fines, jail time and other penalties. Therefore, it is generally in your best interest to seek a modification as quickly as possible if you’re struggling to make payments on time.