Can I Stop Paying Child Support if I Lose my Job in New Jersey?

If your financial situation changes, your child support payments may need to be altered in order to reflect these new circumstances. This is true if your finances increase or decrease. For example, a large raise at work may mean paying more child support. On the other hand, losing your job may mean paying less child support. Read on to learn more about requesting a child support modification in New Jersey.

How is child support determined by a New Jersey judge?

Your income plays a large role in determining child support. Other factors include:

  • The financial status of both parents
  • Who has physical custody of the child
  • The incomes, debts, and assets of each parent
  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s work history
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s age/health
  • The child’s education
  • The cost of providing for the child

Grounds for modification:

It is important to understand that if you become unemployed, you will still have to pay child support. In fact, you cannot stop paying child support without approval from the court. However, you can request a modification in order to alter the amount and/or frequency of payments. When granting a modification, the court may consider the following:

  • Has the individual been out of work for at least 90 days prior to seeking the child support modification?
  • What was the reason for the loss of employment?
  • What has the individual done in the meantime to find a replacement position or alternative means of income?
  • Is the individual able to physically and mentally obtain and retain employment?
  • Did the individual receive and severance payment from their previous employer?

It is important to know that if you are unemployed because you quit your job, or you were fired due to criminal activity or gross negligence, you will likely be unable to modify child support.

What if I fail to pay child support?

It is illegal to refuse to pay child support. Missing your court-ordered child support payments can result in legal repercussions, including:

  • Income withholding
  • Credit reporting
  • Tax fund offset
  • Seizure of assets
  • License suspension
  • Passport denial
  • Court enforcement
  • Civil awards/settlements
  • Warrants
  • Judgments

If you need to request a child support modification, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your options with an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.