If you lost your job or are experiencing reduced income, the reason you lost the job or income must be involuntary in order for you to qualify for a modification. So, if you quit your job, got fired because of misconduct or voluntarily accepted reduced pay, you may not qualify for a reduction of your support payments. For the record, the Family Court will consider any unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation you receive as sources of income and may garnish your benefits in order to pay for child support. Regardless of how you lost your job, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Ocean County child support attorney to learn what you can do about your NJ child support payments.
Can you stop paying child support if you lose your job in NJ?
You must have undergone a substantial, permanent, involuntary and material change in circumstances that the Family Court had not contemplated at the time it originally ordered the child support in order for you to qualify for a modification of support payments. If you have become unemployed, underemployed or have no income but are fully capable of working or participating in job training, the Family Court will most likely assume that you chose to fall behind on child support payments and consider you to be in arrears. You must have gone through an experience similar to the following examples if you wish to qualify for a modification:
- The loss of your home
- The contracting of a serious illness
- The sustaining of a serious injury
- Federal income tax laws have changed
- Your former spouse has begun cohabitation with someone else
- Your former spouse has remarried someone else
- The child’s other parent received a job promotion
- The child’s other parent has come into a large sum of money through an inheritance or some other means
You will not qualify if the court does not feel that the change in circumstances is substantial, permanent, involuntary and material. In that case, you will be treated like all other delinquent obligers and face the following penalties:
- Significant fines
- Hits to your credit score
- Liens on your property
- A period of incarceration in jail
Do not just assume. If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you should reach out to a skilled Ocean County family law attorney immediately. Our legal team will work to achieve an equitable outcome for all involved parties, so please give us a call today.
Contact our experienced Ocean County firm
Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. Not only is your financial well-being at stake, but in a divorce, both you and your children’s emotional well-being are at risk as well. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.