Child support is a monthly payment that is made to the custodial parent of a child by the non-custodial parent after a divorce or in the event that a non-married couple who have a child together separate and paternity testing has been done to verify the child’s biological father is indeed the parent being ordered to make child support payments. Often, payers wonder if they are paying too much child support. Here’s what you can do when life circumstances change and your child support payments become unaffordable.
Life Changes That Can Affect the Ability to Pay Child Support
There are many significant life changes that can affect a person’s ability to make child support payments, including the loss of a job or a demotion or a significant illness. New Jersey courts recognize that a child support order from years ago may not reflect the most accurate information as to what should be paid. There’s another side to the coin though — if you get a promotion or start making more money, you could be ordered to pay more.
Never Stop Making Your Payments Without Consulting a Lawyer First
Unfortunately, many people put themselves in a legal bind by simply no longer making child support payments when they can’t afford them. This can cause you to be charged with contempt of court and you may be required to serve jail time, and/or your wages may be garnished automatically. Even if you lose your job entirely and are unable to pay anything, it’s critical that you reach out to an attorney so the courts can be notified of your change in circumstances.
Modifying Your Child Support Order
A family law attorney can help you modify a child support order if you have qualifying grounds. You must be able to provide supporting documentation and proof that you have had a significant life change that affects your ability to pay your child support, such as a change in your pay, a serious illness or accident that has temporarily or permanently disabled you, a change in your family size, etc. Your lawyer can help you gather the required information and provide it to the court with a petition to modify the child support order. Once the order is modified, you can begin paying the lower amount.
Contact the Erlina Perez Law Firm Today
At the Erlina Perez Law Firm, we know how challenging making child support payments can be when life throws a curveball. We also know that child support payments are crucial in providing for a child, and our goal is to ensure that child support payments for our clients are fair. Contact Attorney Perez today for more information and to schedule a consultation by calling (201) 880-7070.