Lost your job to COVID 19? You might have relief from Child Support.
Submitted by New Jersey Family Law Firm, Hark and Hark.
COVID 19 has caused governments nationwide to shut down various sectors of the economy. In addition, the shutdowns, sickness, death and fear from coronavirus has caused even more businesses to shutdown or reduce their workforce. Many people, especially in New Jersey, have lost their jobs and have yet to return. These unemployed people still have financial obligations such as rent, utilities, loans, credit card debt, and child support obligations.
In order to obtain a modification or termination of child support, the person seeking the change must show a non-temporary significant change in circumstances. Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139 (1980). The change in circumstances must have substantially affected the ability to support oneself. Merely temporary circumstances, such as being losing a job, are normally insufficient grounds to modify child support without more.
While it is no guarantee that the court will approve a child support reduction in every case of unemployment as a result of COVID-19, every day that passes for someone who is unemployed with an child support obligation makes it for a greater of a chance for a modification, or at the very least, temporary relief from the obligation until adequate employment can be obtained. Further, the person seeking the child support reduction must be actively seeking employment during this time period to argue for a modification of child support based on changed circumstances.
A final note, modification of child support cannot be applied retroactively to the date of loss of employment, unlike alimony. Child support can only be modified back to the filing date of the motion for reduction of child support. Therefore, it is important to file as soon as possible to seal the filing date to have the greatest opportunity for relief.
At Hark & Hark, we help parents with divorce, custody, domestic violence, child support, alimony issues and more.
In recognition of these trying financial times due to COVID-19, we are reducing fees and working with clients to come up with manageable payment plans. While we combat Coronavirus, we are offering special deals for first responders and individuals currently working in the medical field. Initial consultation is always free and we are available remotely.
We represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties. We represent clients in all towns in New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Woodbridge, Lakewood, Toms River, Hamilton, Trenton, Clifton, Camden, Brick, Cherry Hill, Passaic, Middletown, Union City, Old Bridge, Gloucester Township, East Orange, Bayonne, Franklin Township, North Bergen, Vinland, and Union.