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Can I Stop Paying Child Support if I Lost My Job?

Child support is incredibly important to the well-being of a child. As such, both parents have a legal responsibility to help care for their children financially. But, sometimes, this becomes difficult. Read on to learn more about child support payments in the event of unemployment.

How is Child Support Determined in New Jersey?

When making a decision about child support, a New Jersey court may examine the following factors:

  • The financial status of each parent
  • Who has physical custody of the child
  • Any income, debt, and assets of each parent
  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s work history
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s age/health
  • The child’s education
  • The cost of providing for the child

If I Lost My Job, Do I Have to Continue Making Payments?

If you have lost your job, you will have to continue making child support payments unless otherwise stated by a New Jersey court. That being said, you may be able to modify the amount/ frequency of your payments.

What Constitutes a Decrease in Payments?

Because child support has been carefully calculated, it is not always easy to modify. But, the following circumstances may call for a decrease in child support payments:

  • The cost of living of the supporting parent has increased and they can no longer afford to pay child support
  • The dependent parent recently remarried or has entered into a cohabitating relationship with another person
  • The supporting parent suffered a serious injury or illness that requires medical assistance and they are left with few funds to take care of their child
  • The federal income tax laws have changed and the dependent parent cannot keep up
  • The income of the supporting parent has either decreased or their job
  • The dependent parent’s income increased or they went from being unemployed to attaining a job and income

In order to modify your child support payments, there must be a significant and unexpected change. This means that if you become unemployed because you quit your job, you probably won’t be able to modify your arrangement.

How Do I Modify My Payments?

If you have lost your job and you are struggling to continue your child support payments, you should reach out to a family law attorney. Your attorney will file a motion with the court to request a child support modification. After, your attorney will present supporting evidence to prove that your situation has significantly changed and that you truly need the terms of your child support updated.

If you have lost your job and you need to modify your child support payments, reach out to our firm today to discuss your options with a skilled family law attorney.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today