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Divorce represents one of the most significant changes and transitions that a person will go through in his or her life. It is difficult and emotional, and a person will likely feel the impact of it for years to come. For some, the changes brought about by divorce and other life events can eventually affect a person’s ability to meet his or her support obligations.

You may find yourself in a place where you can no longer manage your child support payments. For reasons beyond your control, you may not be able to keep up, and you may be unsure of what you can do. In certain circumstances, it is possible to modify a support order. If you need to change your current support amount, it does not make you a bad parent. You have the right to explore the legal options available to you.

What should you do next? 

If you can no longer adhere to the terms of your child support order, you may feel unsure of what to do next. It’s smart to pay as much as you can as often as you can, and you do not want to delay in getting appropriate help regarding your legal options. The following facts about child support and modifying an existing support order may help you as you seek a beneficial outcome to your concerns: 

  • A verbal agreement on an adjustment to support payments with the other parent is a good place to start, but you still need to follow the legal process of requesting a modification.
  • Do not wait until you are months behind to ask for help and find out if you are eligible for a modification.
  • Keep track of how and when your circumstances changed in case there is a disagreement in the future regarding your modification request.
  • Get the right information from a knowledgeable source about child support laws and your options. 

A court may grant a modification in circumstances involving a job loss, sudden illness or other situations that led to a dramatic and unpredictable change in your financial circumstances

Financial capabilities and rights as a parent

If you are unable to pay child support as ordered, this does not have any bearing on your rights as a caring and loving parent. The other parent cannot withhold custody or visitation time from you, and you are still entitled to have a role in the life of your child. When you need to pursue a modification or have questions about your parental rights, you may want to start by seeking an evaluation of your case with an experienced New Jersey legal professional.