At the hearing, the parent requesting a change in child support presents a statement making the request along with paperwork to support her claim. In short, this means that if you don’t show up, the other side automatically wins. If the forms or the procedure for filing seem too confusing, or if in your state the information is not online or otherwise accessible to you, an experienced family law attorney can help you and make sure everything is filed that needs to be filed, and that everything goes as smoothly as possible for you. At the time and date specified on the summons and in the courtroom of the judge who will preside over the matter, the parties will appear with their attorneys. If you are wondering how to modify child support without a lawyer, here’s how: visit the NJ Courts’ Self Help Center online and look for the “Couples and Families” category. Ms. Wagner also holds a Certificate in Divorce Mediation from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the American Bar Association Family Law Advocacy Institute. We pride ourselves on being available to provide you with thorough, prompt and diligent service while handling your case. Valid reasons … in print journalism, and has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of print and online publications, including the Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy. The parent wishing to modify the child support arrangement must also prepare a statement of reasons for the court. Although it can be stressful for anyone to have to go to court for a child support dispute, knowing what to expect at the hearing will help you feel more relaxed and confident as you will be mentally and emotionally prepared for what happens. Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem After Divorce, How To Redecorate Your Home After a Divorce, Divorce Lawyers: Why You Need to Hire One. And, you need to know in advance what you need to do and file to support your position regarding a change in child support payments. Updated: September 03, 2019Categories: Co-Parenting after Divorce, Financial Issues. Ranked as the #1 Divorce Blog on the Internet since 2016! Are you wondering if you can modify child support without a lawyer? Simply put, this means that if you don’t show up, the other side wins. Because a child support modification hearing is not a criminal matter, the judge will not issue an arrest warrant. [2019 Update], NJ Custody Laws for Unmarried Parents: A Guide. Does Child Support Go Down if You Have Another Child? This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media. Depending on the state, a child support modification hearing is always required or may be needed only when both parents can’t agree on a new amount for child support. In most states, after parents separate, a child support proceeding takes place, which is considered part of the divorce/separation process. This can wreak havoc with your record and cause problems for you extending far beyond simply paying child support. The parent wanting to modify the child support order will present his or her statement of reasons, either personally or through his or her attorney, and the other parent will have the opportunity to respond to that statement. The Importance of Cohabitation Agreements, Child Support Enforcement Options in New Jersey, How Long Do You Pay Child Support in NJ? from U.C. This can take several months. Let’s say you have filed to modify child support, or that you just received notice that you must attend a child support modification hearing. Usually, the parties pay in proportion to their relative incomes. ), among others. Katherine K. Wagner, Esq. At the hearing, the parent requesting a change in child support presents a statement making the request along with paperwork to support her claim. Simply put, it is in your and your child’s best interest to respond to the summons and participate fully in any hearings that arise. In California, for example, modification is typically granted if the change impacts the amount of monthly child support by either 20 percent or $50, whichever is less. When creating an official or organisation letter, presentation design and also layout is crucial to earning an excellent impression. Law for Families provides all the legal information that you and your family need. www.wagner-law.com, September 02, 2019 (0) Comments Categories: Co-Parenting after Divorce, Financial IssuesTags: Child Support, Divorce Financial. Reasons for a parent to want to change the support arrangements fall under a broad category that the family court calls “changes in circumstances.” The kind of life changes that family judges believe warrant adjustment of child support payments include: One of the parents experienced a job loss or reduction of work hours; One of the parents got a better job or more work hours or a raise; The parents have changed the custodial or parenting time arrangement. Also, knowing in advance what you need to do and file to support your position on the issue will increase your confidence as well as the likelihood of your success. Or, someone is facing financial hardships that make taking care of the children difficult. At the Child Support Modification Hearing. Each parent can also … A child support modification hearing is a civil, not a criminal, matter, so a warrant for the absent party’s arrest will not be issued. Katherine K. Wagner, Esq. The judge will then consider what was said as well as the parties’ documents and determine whether a change is justified. Of course, you can also appeal this decision. You're generally allowed to call witnesses to bolster your case. Since child support is based on the income of both parents, each must present evidence of their current financial status, such as income statements, tax returns and budget. In South Carolina, the difference in the monthly payment must be 10 percent or greater. The short answer is yes, and here’s how in New Jersey: visit the NJ Courts’ Self Help Center online and look for the “Couples and Families” category. Since child support is based on the income of both parents, each must present evidence of their current financial status, such as income statements, tax returns and budget. However, if a party does not respond and does not participate in the child support hearing, the court can and will likely grant the other party judgment by default. The factors a judge considers when making a determination vary by state. If you fail to do so, either of the following may happen: Either of these situations can be dire for a parent who can not afford to pay more or to receive less, in child support payments. Leslie Bloom earned a J.D. graduated from Duke University and Washington & Lee University Law School. Your attorney will let you know if any other information or documentation is needed. Someone got a new job, a raise, or married. I practice family law in New Jersey, so that is my frame of reference, however, most states follow a similar procedure. If you do not, the following may happen: if you are the party paying child support, these payments can be raised without your input; If you are the party receiving child support, your payments could be reduced without the judge hearing your side. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited. Child support is required when married parents divorce or separate, or when one unmarried parent has custody. When one parent has asked for a child support modification hearing, the other parent will be served with a summons setting forth the date, time, and location of the hearing. How To Change the Amount of Child Support. recent new child support law has strengthened the ability to modify child support based on parenting patterns Since 1996 Divorce Magazine has been the Internet's leading website on divorce and separation. Either of these situations can be dire for a parent who can not afford to pay more, or to receive less, in child support payments. At the court hearing, each … Once a parent has filed for reconsideration of the child support order and the other party has been served with a summons, each of the parties must then file documents proving their current financial status. Click on it. The parties will appear with their attorneys at the time and date specified on the summons, and in the courtroom of the judgewho will preside over the matter. Download Now. If both parents can’t agree on the amount of the modified child support, they may need to have a child support modification hearing to help determine the new amount of child support. In addition to maintaining her busy professional and pro bono schedule, Ms. Wagner blogs regularly on issues and current events in family law. To defend your rights regarding the child support arrangement, you must respond to the summons, file all of the necessary responsive documents, and appear at the hearing. Who Attends a Child Support Modification Hearing. Here you will find all of the forms you need to file for modification of child support, or to respond to a summons for a hearing on child support. In New Jersey, that form can be found here for married parents and here for unmarried parents. Modification of a child support order begins with filing a form by which either party can ask the court to reconsider the current child support arrangement. These types of expenses are not listed in the Child Support Guidelines and are usually not provided for in the initial child support order, therefore a judge must determine how the parties will share these costs as they arise. You can be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine up to $2500 and six months in jail. If more than two years or $10,000 of child support arrears accrue, that is a felony and you can face up to two years in prison. Whichever parents wants to modify the child support arrangement must also submit a statement of reasons for the modification. In New Jersey, the modification of a child support order requires a court hearing and begins with filing a form by which either party can ask the court to reconsider the current child support arrangements. If the hearing is for an initial child support order, a parent may also be required to prove a child's paternity or maternity. Whether you pay child support, or you are the custodial parent and you receive child support, you will be less anxious about it when you know what to expect beforehand. If the forms or the procedure for filing seem too confusing, contact an experienced family law attorney who will help you and make sure everything is filed that needs to be filed, and that everything goes as smoothly as possible for you. Ms. Wagner has co-chaired the Somerset County Family Law Committee and serves as a panelist for the Somerset County Early Settlement Program and as a mediator for the Somerset County Child Custody Mediation Program. Both parties will need to provide documentation supporting their financial status for review by the court. If a parent is requesting a change in child support due to a change in the child custody agreement, that parent will need to provide a copy of that agreement as well. The final step is for the judge to approve or deny the modification. Collection of child support modification letter template that will completely match your needs.