Child support agreements are frequently reached between unmarried parents or co-parents during a divorce. These terms are meant to provide a consistent financial situation for New Jersey children, and are based on a number of personal and economic factors. However, agreements which may have been equitable at one point may not hold up over 18 plus years in practice. There are many situations in which child support agreements may be either modified or terminated based on the circumstances of parents and children.
Today, our child support modification lawyers will identify how agreements may be modified or terminated, what is considered a substantial change in circumstance, and the legal recourse available to co-parents.
Modifying Child Support Agreements in Morris County, NJ
Child support agreements may be enforceable for up to twenty plus years. That is a long time for any agreement, and particularly for one which includes a financial responsibility. A qualified Morris County child support modification attorney may help clients in one of three basic ways:
Negotiation out of court - it is common for co-parents to negotiate and modify their own child support agreement(s) without litigation. Although this is a great option, it is important to still work closely with a family law attorney to protect your legal rights.
Filing a motion to modify your agreement - if an out of court agreement is impossible, co-parents may also petition the New Jersey Family Courts to modify a child support agreement. This will include providing documentation of your current agreement and proof that your agreement should reasonably be altered.
Alternative conflict resolution - co-parents may also choose to work with a mediator or arbitrator to offer an impartial opinion and/or decision. These ADR methods of resolving child support issues are enforceable if entered into properly.
Chester Child Support Attorneys Define Changes in Circumstance
The basis of most modifications to existing child support orders are "substantial changes in circumstance". In other words, the financial or practical realities of either co-parent or child has changed and the agreement is no longer fair or reasonable. Changes in circumstance which may warrant a support modification include:
- Retirement of a co-parent
- Substantial raise, influx of capital, promotion, etc.
- The cost of living is raised or lowered significantly
- Serious illness, injury, or disability of the child or either co-parent
- Losing the family home or other capital property
- Much more
In the case where one of these events has taken place, it is reasonable for a co-parent to request an alteration to your child support agreement. However, it is not an excuse for failing to make scheduled payments. If you are unable to make child support payments, it is important to contact a qualified Chester child support attorney as soon as possible to begin the modification process.
Involved in a Child Custody Dispute? Contact our Morristown Child Support Modification Lawyers Today
The child support and family law attorneys of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley have extensive experience working with Morris County co-parents from towns like Morristown, Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morris Township, Morris Plains, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our firm boasts attorneys who are routinely named as Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuters. If you or a loved one has any questions or concerns regarding a divorce or family law legal matter, we have the experience and the qualifications to handle your needs. Our legal team is one of the most well established and recognized in the local community.
To learn more about your potential to change a child support agreement or prevent a modification, please call our Morristown, NJ offices at 973-975-4043 or contact us online today. A member of our legal team will be standing by to discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation.