When a New Jersey couple with children decides to separate or divorce, one party is usually legally responsible for paying child support to the other party. In cases where the breakup was amicable, the couple may be able to agree on child support terms, though a court may have to review the arrangement to ensure it meets the best interests of the children involved. But when no agreement can be reached, the courts will intervene and order child support based on the custody arrangement, the incomes of both parties and other factors.
Some life changes may require a child support adjustment
Child support orders are dependent on several factors and those factors can change over time. When one party’s income significantly increases or decreases, a court will entertain a petition to adjust the child support amount accordingly. Child support may also be adjusted when there is a change in the custody schedule.
A parent receiving child support can request an adjustment to the amount by petitioning the court. If there are new expenses related to childcare for medical costs, education or other essentials, the parent receiving support can request an increase. In turn, when the parent paying child support takes on the care of more children or suffers a reduction in income, it may be possible to petition the court for a modification. Cost of living changes can also factor into child support adjustments.
Understanding the legalities of child support
Raising children can be expensive, especially after a separation or divorce. Child support can help the custodial parent pay for medical care, schooling and everyday essentials. New Jersey parents who are separating or divorcing can consult a family law attorney to better understand how child support, custody and other matters will be determined.