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Blogs from December, 2022

How Does Inflation Affect Child Support?

It's no secret that the cost of living has been on the rise in recent years. But what does that mean for your child support payments? Can you request an increase due to inflation? Let's answer this question and take a look at what you need to know before requesting a child support modification for any reason.

When it comes to child support, the most important factor that determines how much a parent pays is the needs of the child. Ensuring that child support payments reflect the child’s individual needs is critical – these expenses cover more than basic necessities, such as education, medical bills, and extracurricular activities. This amount can be periodically adjusted in response to employment status changes or other financial circumstances, and parents can petition their local court for a child support modification.

Inflation can have a big effect on child support payments. Prices for food, clothes, and other things may have gone up, so the costs of caring for a child are likely higher as well. This means you may need to ask for more money from the other parent to help with expenses. Before asking for an increase, it's important to understand New Jersey's child support laws and under what conditions the courts will grant a modification.

New Jersey Child Support Cost of Living Adjustment Requirements

New Jersey has a law called RULE 5:6B - Cost-Of-Living Adjustments For Child Support Orders. Under this law, the courts are obligated to review and adjust all child support orders every two years to account for changes to cost-of-living. These adjustments are based on "the average change in the Consumer Price Index for the metropolitan statistical areas that encompass New Jersey and shall be compounded."

Outside of the automatic cost-of-living adjustment, parents may also ask the court to change the amount of child support if their financial situation changes, like if one parent loses their job or prices for things like food and clothes go up. The court will look at how much money is needed to take care of the child and decide how much money should be paid in child support. This includes paying for things like school, medical bills, and activities outside of school.

When to Request a Child Support Modification

In New Jersey, a parent might need to ask for more money in child support if the cost of taking care of their child goes up. For example, if prices for food, clothes, or daycare increase. Additionally, if one parent loses their job, they may need to ask for a child support modification. The court can determine how much money is required in order to take care of the child and decide how much money should be paid in child support.

Requesting an increase in child support can be key to ensuring your child's needs are being met, and the amount you receive is fair. To modify child support, you must prove that the current level is no longer sufficient and that your change in circumstances is both substantial and long-term. Commonly cited reasons for needing a support modification include a job loss, permanent disability, or retirement. It is important to provide documentation of any changes to the relevant court in order to secure the child support modification.

When to Call an Attorney for Help

Are you concerned about your ability to provide for your child due to inflation? If you are struggling financially and have a child support order registered in New Jersey, it may be worth consulting with an experienced family law attorney to find out if you qualify to petition for a modification. If you decide that petitioning for a modification is in your and your child’s best interests, your lawyer can also help guide you throughout the process.

Schedule a consultation with DeTommaso Law Group today by dialing (908) 274-3028 or contacting us online.