Child Support Modifications in Bergen County

After a divorce or separation from their spouse, one parent may be required to make child support payments to the other. The specific details of a child support agreement may be evaluated and enforced by the court, but a material change in circumstance could allow for the modification or termination of the contract.

A qualified legal professional could allow you to alter the terms of your agreement or end your payments altogether. If you want to make modifications to your child support contract, enlist the help of a Bergen County lawyer.

Circumstances to Modify Payments

Child support orders typically remain in effect until the child reaches the age of emancipation or finishes post-secondary education. A change in circumstance is necessary for a child support agreement to be modified. An example could be a change within the custodial arrangement, such as if the person paying child support is no longer the noncustodial parent. In this case, it would be appropriate to seek a modification, and it may become necessary for the other parent to begin making child support payments instead.

It is a common misconception that if the paying parent is unemployed, then they automatically are eligible to alter or terminate their child support agreement. If the paying parent intentionally leaves their job or chooses to take a lower-paying job, they may not be able to reduce their child support payments. It would only be considered a valid change in circumstance if they became unemployed unintentionally.

Material changes in circumstance could include:

  • The paying parent losing their job
  • The receiving parent getting a raise
  • The receiving parent accessing a new source of income
  • One of the parties becoming disabled

To alter child support after a change of circumstance has been established, the parents may settle the modifications between themselves and memorialize it in a consent order. A local attorney experienced in child support modifications could ensure that the agreement is memorialized properly and file it with the court. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, then only the court has the power to alter a child support order.

It may be appropriate to revisit a child support agreement every three years or another interval of time, even without the intent to modify the contract, to assess any changes in the family’s situation.

Circumstances to End Payments

Child support payments could be terminated in the event the child is emancipated, which can occur either after they graduate from high school or complete a full-time college education. Child support could also be terminated if a specific end date is outlined in the agreement. Additionally, in the event of the child’s death, child support payments would be terminated. An experienced nearby lawyer could determine if your specific situation qualifies for a termination of child support payments.

A Bergen County Attorney Could Modify Your Child Support

Though child support agreements are created to appropriately suit a family’s situation, they can become less relevant or fair over time, and may require adjustments. However, state family law is complex, and attempting to alter or end your child support contract without the assistance of a legal professional may be overwhelming and confusing. A Bergen County lawyer could guide you through the process of making child support modifications and help you reach an agreement that everyone is satisfied with. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation.

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