Child Support Modification Attorneys Morris County, NJ
Serving Clients Across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Mt. Olive, and the greater Morris County area
During any New Jersey divorce or mediation process involving a family with minor children, one of the most important issues to be decided is that of child support. Child support in New Jersey is determined by a set of very specific guidelines, with very specific determining factors.
However, many times those determining factors can change after your initial child support agreement has been signed. Changes in the employment status and level of either parent, changes in investments which are generating different levels of income than previously, mental or physical health issues of either parent and even the maturation and emancipation of the children in question can all call for a modification of child support payments, either an increase or a decrease depending on the exact circumstances.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our Morris County and Bergen County child support attorneys have more than 75 combined years of experience helping clients with divorce and support issues. Based in Morristown, our New Jersey child support lawyers are here to answer your questions, assist you through the entire modification process, and advocate for you and your child’s best interests.
Requirements for a Morris County Child Support Modification Petition
In order for a judge to grant a modification of your child support agreement, you and your Chatham child support modification attorney must show the existence of “changed circumstance”. Changed circumstance has a very specific legal meaning, as such you must be able to show that the changes you are citing are permanent, substantial, and unanticipated (meaning that at the time the initial child support agreement was drafted, the changed circumstances couldn’t have been predicted). If the changed circumstances you are citing as the reason for your child support modification petition are temporary or have yet to occur, your modification petition will be denied.
Historically, courts have considered the following changes to be significant, and cause for a modification order:
- An increase in the cost of living
- A change to the payor’s income
- A parent or child suffered from a serious illness or disability after the initial support order was implemented
- The parent receiving the support payments lost their home
- The parent receiving the support payments has begun cohabitating with another adult
- The parent receiving the support payments increased their income level
- Federal income tax laws have changed
If you believe that you or your family’s circumstances have changed in a substantial and permanent manner as to warrant a modification of your child support agreement, it is important that you retain an experienced Mendham child support modification attorney to represent you and your child’s interests in court. For any modification to be made, a judge will need to review current financial information for both parents and take into account the needs of the children involved. Your attorney can help you to gather and present all of this information to the courts, ensure that the judge is aware of all of the relevant facts of your case, and help you successfully resolve your child support modification petition.
Child Support Modification Process
Once a judge has reviewed your petition for a child support modification and the changed circumstances cited as a cause for the modification, they will rule on whether or not to grant a child support modification. If you and your Chester child support modification attorney have followed all of the necessary steps and cited strong evidence of a changed circumstance, the judge will rule in your favor, and the modification process will now begin.
During this process, both you and the other parent of your child will be required to provide the court with current financial information so that it can make the most informed decision possible.
After review, a judge will make their final decision, taking into account the same factors they did when awarding the initial child support settlement. These factors include:
- The needs of the child
- The standard of living and economic situation of both parents
- Any and all sources of income of both parents
- The earning potential of both parents including education, training, skills, experience, parental responsibilities, and the cost in time and money to receive training to enter the workplace
- The educational needs and capacity of the child, including higher education like college or vocational schools
- The age and health of the child and both parents
- Court-ordered responsibilities of the parents to other parties
- The debts and liabilities of both parents and the child
- Any other factor the courts see as relevant to the child support order in question
Consult with Our Morristown NJ Child Support Modification Lawyers Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Mt. Olive, and the greater Morris County area successfully petition for, and change, their existing child support agreements.
Our firm practices exclusively family and divorce law, and as such we are ideally suited to helping you with any legal issues you and your family may have including child support modifications.
To speak with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation today, please contact us online or through our Whippany office.