Child Support Modification


Child Support Modification

1. Child support in general

Child support is a monetary obligation imposed on the non-custodial parent (NCP). It can be paid directly to the custodial parent (CP) or through the Probation Department in your county. In New Jersey, the child support amount is calculated according to the Child Support Guidelines. There are some situations where the court can deviate from the Child Support Guidelines. Please note that deviations are relatively rare.

2. Child support modification

Child support modification is a change (adjustment) of the child support amount. It can be an increase or a decrease. In order to get your child support obligation modified, you need to file a motion. Pursuant to New Jersey law and precedent, the moving party must show a change in circumstances before the court decides whether to change the current child support obligation. Please note that whether a certain event constitutes "a change in circumstances" depends on the facts of each case. Not every change in circumstances warrants a modification. Many parents think that every little change (even the most insignificant one) warrants a modification of the child support obligation. This is simply not true. The change should be substantial and it may affect the child or the financial circumstances of either parent. Finally, do not forget that courts are governed by your child's best interest.

3. Child support termination

Once a child is emancipated, the non-custodial parent's obligation will be terminated. In order to emancipate a child, you can file a motion. Once your emancipation motion is granted, your child support obligation will be terminated as of the date of emancipation. However, if you pay child support for more than one child to the same custodial parent, your child support obligation will be modified/recalculated based on the emancipation. Emancipation is an event that constitutes "a change in circumstances." If you need more information on emancipation, please check my legal guide and blog on emancipation.

The blog content is for informational purposes only and it should be construed as legal advice. Every case is different and should be evaluated on its own merits.

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