Can You Stop Paying Child Support if You Lose Your Job in New Jersey?

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Please read on, then contact an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey child support lawyer to learn if you can stop paying child support if you lose your job in New Jersey.

Do you have to keep paying child support if you lose your job in New Jersey?

If you lost your job or are experiencing reduced income, the reason you lost the job or income must be involuntary in order for you to qualify for a modification. So, if you quit your job, got fired because of misconduct or voluntarily accepted reduced pay, you may not qualify for a reduction of your support payments. For the record, the Family Court will consider any unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation you receive as sources of income and may garnish your benefits in order to pay for child support.

When do you qualify for a child support reduction after a job loss in New Jersey?

In order to qualify for a child support reduction, you must have undergone a substantial, permanent, involuntary and material change in circumstances that the Family Court had not contemplated at the time it originally ordered the child support. If a payor falls behind on child support payments and is unemployed, underemployed or has no income but is able to work or participate in job training, the Family Court will most likely assume that this choice is voluntary and consider that parent to be in arrears.  To qualify for a modification, you must have undergone an experience similar to one of the following:

  • One parent has lost his or her home
  • One  parent has contracted a serious illness or sustained a serious injury
  • The child has sustained a serious illness or contracted a medical condition
  • One parent recently sustained a significant involuntary pay cut or job loss
  • Federal income tax laws have changed
  • One parent has begun cohabitation or has remarried
  • One parent received a job promotion or has come into a large sum of money via an inheritance or some other means

If the court does not feel that your change in circumstances is substantial, permanent, involuntary and material, it will not qualify for a modification of support payments and you will face all the penalties that any other delinquent obliger would face: Fines, hits to your credit score, liens on your property and even time in jail. If you have lost your job, you should reach out to a skilled Bergen County, New Jersey family law attorney to ask the Family Court for a modification. He or she will help you collect the evidence needed to prove your case and file it with the proper authorities. Let us handle this delicate legal matter, so please give us a call today.

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Whether you are getting divorced or are facing any other family law matter, you need competent legal assistance on your side. Our legal team is dedicated to fighting for individuals, their families, and their future. Contact HD Family Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our compassionate and experienced firm.

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