Costs Are Rising… Is it Time for the Child Support You’re Receiving to Do the Same?
The inflation rate in the United States recently hit a four-decade high, with consumer prices in May 2022 rising 8.6 percent from the previous year. This price hike is the most extreme since December 1981. It has many consumers scrambling to afford the basic necessities, whose affordability they once took for granted. If you are relying on child support to take care of your children, you might find that the amount you receive is no longer sufficient to meet your needs. Luckily, child support agreements can be revised, and you may be able to increase the amount of support you receive by filling a child support modification.
Modifying a Child Support Agreement
Under New Jersey law, either parent bound by a child support agreement can file a motion with the court to modify the amount they are paying or receiving. Although the state of New Jersey allows you to request a review of your case every three years, you can file a motion to modify your child support anytime your circumstances change. There are numerous factors that could legally fall under the “changed circumstances” category, and the court carefully considers each case on an individual basis.
Among the most common examples of a change in circumstances include:
- Change in income due to job loss, salary increase or reduction, or new employment
- Major health issues affecting one or both parents or any of the children
- The birth of a new child to one of the parents or the taking on of responsibility for raising a new child
- A change in the division of parenting time
- A change in expenses necessary to raise the child or children
Does Child Support Increase with Inflation?
Inflation is a major factor that can contribute to the increased cost of raising a child. Because inflation affects nearly all of a person’s basic needs—including food, rent, transportation, and healthcare—high inflation levels can pose serious challenges to fulfilling your financial obligations as a parent. If you find that your budget is no longer sufficient to support your child, then you have definite cause to file a child support modification.
In considering your request for increased child support payments, the court will adhere to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines and consider such factors as each parent’s earning ability, their standard of living, any debts and assets they may hold, and any medical expenses. The burden of proof remains on the person requesting the modification, so it is important to amass sufficient evidence to prove a change in circumstances before proceeding.
Hiring a Child Support Attorney
Filing a child support modification can give you much needed relief from increased living expenses, but it is not a process you want to go through alone. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable family lawyer can help you navigate this complicated process and obtain the resolution you are looking for.
If you are considering filing a child support modification, we urge you to contact the experienced family law attorneys at Lazor Rantas, PC. Call us at 973-457-8844 or fill out the contact form below to get started.