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What Happens If I Can't Pay My Child Support Obligation?

Raising a child is going to be expensive, no matter how your finances look. Monetary strain can be exasperated after a divorce. It is highly likely that monthly child support obligations will be established, paid by the spouse that generally makes more income to the other spouse that has also obtained primary child custody rights.

However, when child support is established as part of a divorce, it is based on the assumption that everyone’s finances will look the same from that point, up until the child is an independent adult. Since no one can predict the future, this is a pretty big assumption. Many people paying child support will eventually run into financial straits and struggle to meet those obligations. Can something be done to set things right after this happens?

Using Child Support Modifications in New Jersey

The family law courts of New Jersey allow for either spouse to petition for child support modifications. The receiving spouse can petition for more, or the paying spouse asks to pay less. Modifications of child support that call for a reduction are historically difficult to get approved by the court since it directly impacts the day-to-day wellbeing of the child, and courts are required to put a child’s best interests first and foremost. If you want to have a reduction approved, then you need to show, without a doubt, that the reduction would be absolutely necessary and that the current obligation is putting you through undue hardship.

Occurrences that may necessitate a reduction in child support obligations may include:

  • Unexpected job less, demotion, or pay cut
  • Severe injury or illness
  • Payment of mandatory fees and fines
  • Other child or spousal support obligations

You may also be able to reduce how much child support you pay if the financial situation of the receiver significantly improves. This could be achieved through finding gainful employment, winning or obtaining a large prize payout like the lottery, or remarrying a spouse with healthy funds.

Convincing the court that your modification is necessary is the groundwork of your request. Prepare and bolster your argument by collecting plenty of documentation that shows you are being financially crippled by the monthly obligations, and by teaming up with a trustworthy attorney. At Moskowitz Law Group, LLC, you can find Bergen County family lawyers backed by more than 50 years of total legal experience and an impressive list of appreciative client testimonials. Call 201.419.6223 to get a no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.