As children mature and their needs change, or a parent’s work schedule or income changes, child custody and support may need to change too. That is when our family court lawyers in New Jersey can help you with a modification of your support and custody order.
If the child’s needs change, or if a parent’s financial situation changes, the amount of child support may need to be modified either by a mutual agreement or by a court order. Loss of employment, changes in health, changes in income, changes in educational expenses and remarriage are common reasons for amending a support order. Another common reason people modify their child support order is that their child has reached the age of maturity. In any case, New Jersey’s courts take a conservative approach to petitions to modify child support and the courts will only do so if there has been a valid and significant change in circumstances.
New Jersey courts will not typically consider altering a child custody arrangement that appears to be working for everyone involved. Generally, a court will not interrupt a child’s way of life unless there is a “substantial change in circumstances.” The question of whether there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” is a major factor in determining whether a modification of custody or visitation is appropriate. Examples of substantial changes in circumstances include:
- Relocation of the parents
- Major changes in a parent’s vocation or working hours
- Domestic violence in a parent’s home
- Poor behaviors by a parent such as drug and alcohol abuse
- Dangerous conditions in a parent’s home
Whether you believe a modification is needed in your situation or you simply wish to be aware of how and why your arrangements could change in the future, contact our office for a consultation. Let our family lawyers in New Jersey guide you regarding modification of support, custody, or visitation.