Skip to content

If you lose your job, it is stressful to worry about how you will cover all of your bills, especially your child support order. Read more to find out how to manage your child support payments during your unemployment and how a dedicated Bergen County child support attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can help you make a plan.

How are child support payment amounts determined in New Jersey?

A judge will base their decision on how much money each parent will contribute to their child through the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines allow the child to reap the benefits of both parents’ incomes so as to maintain the quality of life they once had. They mainly consider the financial situations of each parent to come up with a fair support structure. However, nonmonetary factors are also evaluated, such as the following:

  • The custody arrangement.
  • The needs of the child.
  • The age and health of each parent.
  • The age and health of the child.

Do I still have to pay child support if I lose my job?

Since a child support order is not solely based on the financial situations of each parent, you will have to continue to make payments upon your unemployment. If you stop paying, owed payments will continue to add up until the court changes the order. Therefore, you must go to court as soon as possible to file a petition explaining the change in your circumstances and asking for a modification of the order.

How can I modify my child support payments?

To modify your child support payments, you must first reach out to a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. One of our attorneys will assist you in filing a motion with the court to request a modification. We will then help you present supporting evidence to prove that your situation has significantly changed and that you require the terms of your child support order to be updated.

A helpful tip while waiting for word on a modification is that the order of support can be deducted from both unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation. But this should only be a temporary solution, especially if those payments are less than the amount of the original order.

It is also important to note that if your unemployment is due to you quitting your job or being fired for gross negligence or criminal behavior, you will likely be ineligible to modify your payments.


Here at McNerney & McAuliffe, we understand how confusing certain legal matters can be, which is why we are here to provide clients from all walks of life with the experienced, compassionate legal guidance they need. If you require the legal assistance of an attorney to help you through a criminal law matter, personal injury matter, family law matter, or otherwise, you can turn to us. Contact McNerney & McAuliffe today to learn more about what we can do for you.

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  What Are Fault Grounds in a Divorce?

Technically, New Jersey is a hybrid divorce state. This means the family court may allow a petitioner to declare a…

Read More
  What if I Cannot Afford to Pay Child Support?

You may have every intention of meeting your child support order and overall giving your child the financial backing they…

Read More