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After a child support order is put in place, life goes on and that means changes can happen. You may have been ordered to pay child support, but recently lost a job and cannot afford the payments. You may be receiving child support payments, but your child’s needs have changed and put an increased burden on your finances. Whatever the change, you may be able to have the original child support order modified due to your change in circumstances. You must, however, make this change official by going through the court system. This means filing a motion, following proper legal procedure, and presenting the requisite forms and information required by the court. Seeking a modification of a child support order is often a pressing matter and needs to be done right. At Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C., we have the experience and knowledge of the family court system to help you successfully navigate this process. 


 Modifying A Child Support Order

In New Jersey, the parent required to pay child support is referred to as the “obligor.” The “obligee” is the parent receiving the child support payments. The court uses the New Jersey child support guidelines to calculate the amount of child support. The guidelines use such factors as the needs of the child and the parent’s ability to pay. While the obligee receives the payment, he or she is really just accepting the money on behalf of the child. It does not belong to the parent but is money to directly provide for the child.

Either the obligor or the obligee may seek a change in the existing child support order. The parent seeking the modification needs to file a motion with the court requesting the modification. A copy of the child support order must be attached to the motion along with affidavits in support of your request. It is also a good idea to provide financial documentation which will demonstrate your position to the judge.

You will need to be able to show the court that you have experienced a change in circumstances that merit a modification of the child support order. The change must have already occurred. Additionally, it must be a substantial and permanent change of circumstances that were not anticipated when the original child support order was put in place. Examples of a change in circumstance that would support a request for modification include:

  • An increase or decrease in the obligor’s income
  • Loss of housing
  • A serious illness, injury, or disability suffered by either parent or child

The parent requesting the modification has the burden of proving the substantial change in circumstances. If the court agrees, the other parent will have to supply current financial information. The court will review all relevant factors and rule on the modification. Relevant factors include:

  • Needs of the child
  • The income level of each parent
  • Age and health of the child and both parents
  • Debts of each parent
  • Earning capacity of each parent

Family Law Attorneys Midland, Texas

If you are unable to pay your currently required child support amount or you are in need of more child support than was originally ordered, seek a child support modification sooner rather than later. The dedicated family law attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. are here to help you through the process and advocate on your behalf. We are proud to serve the residents of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.