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You may have every intention of meeting your child support order and overall giving your child the financial backing they need to be happy and healthy. However, we understand that life may throw unexpected curveballs your way, leaving you in a financial struggle. Continue reading to learn what happens if you cannot afford child support and how an experienced Bergen County child support attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can help you formally modify your order.

What happens if I cannot afford to pay my child support order?

You must understand that your current financial strife may not exempt you from your child support obligations. In other words, you may still be expected to meet your court-ordered monthly payments on time. Otherwise, there may be interventions in which certain assets are taken to make up for your missed child support payments. Otherwise, restrictions may be placed on you as forms of punishment. More specific consequences you may be met with are as follows:

  • Your paychecks from your employer, unemployment benefits, or workers’ compensation benefits may be withheld.
  • Your compensation from a court-awarded lawsuit or settlement may be seized.
  • Your stocks, bonds, or funds in bank accounts may be seized.
  • Your lottery prize winnings or your tax refunds may be intercepted.
  • Your driving, professional, occupational, recreational, or sporting licenses may be suspended.
  • Your passport application or renewal may be denied.
  • Your credit reports to credit agencies may disclose your missed child support payments.

What can I do to modify my child support order?

To reiterate, the New Jersey family court may still expect you to uphold your child support order regardless of your current financial standing. However, this is until it approves your formal petition for a post-judgment modification. With this, it is worth mentioning that you must continue to meet your standing child support order while your request is being processed. Further, even when a modification is granted, you must still make up for your outstanding child support payments thus far (i.e., arrears).

With your formal post-judgment modification, you are essentially arguing to the court that it is no longer financially sustainable for you to continue making your child support payments at its current rate. For example, you may provide evidence that you got laid off from your job for reasons beyond your reasonable control.

At the same time, you may argue to the court that your child’s circumstances have changed. And therefore, your child no longer needs your child support payments at its current rate. For example, you may provide evidence that your child graduated high school and voluntarily decided to forgo further education.

Before it is too late, you must retain the services of a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. Contact our McNerney & McAuliffe office today.

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