Cost of Raising a Child in the United States
Would you believe me if I told you the average cost of raising a child totals in at around $233,000? This estimate was determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2017.
When parents aren’t sharing resources, it becomes even more difficult to make ends meet and raise your youngster. What should you do if your child support payments are no longer meeting your child’s needs? How can you increase child support payments? Learn all the details below.
What You Need to Prove to Increase Child Support Payments
When you enter into a child support agreement, the courts have already determined an appropriate amount of support that should be required in your circumstances. That means courts won’t be willing to alter a previous agreement unless you can prove a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.
What type of situations fit into the court’s definition of a significant change? Here are a few:
- Significant increase in non-custodial parent’s income (typically 10 percent or more)
- Significant decrease in custodial parent’s income (typically 10 percent or more)
- Substantial increase in the needs of the child (includes medical, educational or cost-of-living needs)
There is one important caveat to these changes. A substantial change in circumstances cannot be based on the intentional, willful actions of one of the parents. That means if one parent chooses to take a cut in pay or is willfully unemployed, then they won’t be eligible to apply for a modification of the support order.
Seeking an Official Child Support Modification Request
Do the above circumstances apply to you? If so, then you have the ability to seek out an official modification of your support order. Remember: you must have the courts approval to modify an order. If you and the other parent enter into a verbal agreement, then it remains unenforceable without a court’s approval.
Here’s what you should do instead. Request the modification by submitting the proper forms to your local court. You should hear back from the court in a timely manner.
Do You Need Help from a Family Lawyer in New Jersey?
Often, parents disagree over the appropriate amount of child support that should be paid. If you are struggling to reach an agreement, then it may be time to reach out to a family law attorney.
Contact a Middletown Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC represent clients throughout the state, including Middletown, Hazlet, East Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 866-567-0135 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 197 State Route 18 South Suite 3000, East Brunswick NJ 08816 in addition to offices located in Hazlet, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.