Your financial circumstances will change after your divorce. A fair amount to pay in child support today may not be fair 5 years from now, depending on your financial situation. When your child support payments are too much, you do have a right to modify them.
How to Determine If You’re Paying Too Much
State-specific guidelines help ensure that you’re not paying too much child support. These guidelines will try to use the following factors to determine child support payments:
- Both parent’s income.
- Healthcare costs.
- Child’s time spent with each parent.
When a child does not spend much time with their non-custodial parent, child support payments will be more costly. This is due to the fact that the parent is not responsible for any of the child’s costs aside from child support. If the non-custodial parent had their child on the weekend and all summer long, the support provided would be less as a result.
Modifying Child Support Amounts
The state guidelines are not always accurate and may not have provided the correct amount of financial support. When this happens, lower or higher, you have to be able to plead your case to the courts.
An attorney will be the best representation at this time.
As a non-custodial parent that is trying to get the amount of child support they pay lowered, but it will be a lengthy process. You will be required to prove extenuating circumstances that will justify not following the guidelines of the state.
Inaccurate documentation provided by the custodial parent will be required if they exist. Primary caregivers must be honest when they list their income and assets so that a fair amount of child support is provided. Altering the financial documents and list of assets will cause the custodial parent to receive a higher child support amount than deserved.
Proving that income or savings is hidden may allow the non-custodial parent to have child support payments reduced.
Support may be temporarily lowered as well. Non-custodial parents that have lost their job or have become ill and the illness affects his or her ability to work may be reason for temporarily withholding or lowering child support payments.
In the event that a disability has occurred or there is a valid reason for lower income, payments can be adjusted to provide a balanced child support figure aligned with the current income of the parent.
The biggest issue is when child support payments are too high. Determining whether the payments are too high in accordance with state guidelines or the current situation of the parents will require the help of a lawyer.
There are ways for the non-custodial parent to have their child support responsibilities lowered, even temporarily, if needed. A petition to modify child support will need to be filed on your behalf, and all of the proper documentation and evidence will be needed as proof of overpayment.
A fair amount of support will be necessary, and child support payments will continue. The only exception is if the child’s living situation has changed, and the child now lives with the non-custodial parent.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.