Following a New Jersey divorce, a concerned parent may wonder what he or she should do if an agreed-upon financial arrangement is not working out. Some parents encounter issues that prompt them to request child support modifications. There are several things to keep in mind when determining whether filing a petition to request a support payment change is a best course of action in a particular set of circumstances.
A family court judge takes several factors into consideration
A family court judge makes decisions carefully regarding financial provisions for children. In all such proceedings, the court has children’s best interests in mind. A judge would be unlikely to modify a child support order without being convinced that doing so would be best for the children in question. In most cases, the court will want to see evidence that either the obligor’s income or the children’s needs have substantially changed.
Issues that often prompt parents to seek child support modification
It is reasonable for a custodial parent to request child support modification if a child’s needs have sparked a financial crisis that current child support payments are not enough to cover. For instance, if a child has a medical crisis or a change in educational expenses, it would be understandable that his or her parent may file a petition for modification if current payments are not enough to provide for the child’s financial needs. On the other side of the issue, a parent who has been making child support payments may request a decrease in the amount if his or her own financial status has substantially changed, typically from loss of income through no fault of the parent seeking relief.
A court order stands unless a judge modifies it
When New Jersey family court judge issues a child support ruling, both parents must adhere to it, no matter what. Parents are not free to disregard or make changes to an existing court order without taking proper legal steps to request modification and without the court granting such a request. A parent concerned with such issues will want to seek clarification of state laws before heading to court.