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Alimony and Child Support Modification and Child Emancipation in Postjugment Divorce Motion Practice

Oct 19, 2015 @ 08:08 AM — by Michael Green

Modifications of child support and alimony are often two areas that parties of a divorce encounter after their divorce, in what is a postjudgment procedural stance. Generally, a motion for child support or alimony modification will have to be filed with the court.  In addition, emancipation of a child, may also drastically change the landscape as regards child support as well.  At Green & Associates, we can help you file your motion for child support or alimony modification, call us now at 732-390-0480 or 201-242-1119 for a free consultation, and we will help you assess your particular case and what will be necessary to file your motion.

Generally, the standard is a substantial change in circumstance that necessitates modification.   Although, you may seek child support modification every three years as well.  In these matters, the parties will have to show their last three pay stubs and last years tax returns to support a modification.

In the case where there has been a substantial change in circumstance, for child support modification, a party would have to show what that change has been since the prior order for child support or since the matrimonial or property settlement agreement terms of their divorce.  If one party has lost a job or if the other party has started working or now makes much more in income or if one of the parties' children has now been emancipated, that may qualify as a substantial change in circumstance necessary for modification.  

In the case of emancipation, generally, the parties' matrimonial or property settlement agreement will outline the terms of emancipation of a child, these terms then have to be enforced.  If Child Support is being paid through a probation department directly or through wage garnishment, the probation department has to be directed by the Court to change the amount of child support paid and that the child is emancipated.  A Court order will generally be required for Probation to change what is being taken as child support.  Unfortunately, until this is ordered, arrears may accumulate if the party paying child support stops paying upon emancipation without a court order.  It is highly recommended that you speak with the Probation Department directly if you have a court order that would support emancipation of your child that would modify or terminate child support.  If Probation requires an additional court order, a motion will generally have to be filed.

For a party seeking alimony or spousal support modification, the Courts are now more in tune with the state of the economy and the job situation than they were just several years ago.  In the past, the Court s would not address motions for a substantial change in circumstance if a job was lost or downgraded in income for at least six months to a year after the event.  The Courts seem to be more open to these motions and to be more considerate of the economy in general now. As a result, the burden to show a substantial change in circumstance in terms of time from the changing event has lessened somewhat.  If you have lost your job or have had to take a job that pays much less in income, you will have to file a motion with the Court showing proofs of the change in circumstance.  For example, if you have lost your job, you will have to show proofs of your job search and for how long you have been looking.  

Finally, the New Jersey legislature passed a statute that has changed how alimony is dealt with as regards retirement.  Generally, the social security recognized retirement age of 67 years of age is seen as an age for an appropriate retirement and that is generally when alimony may be terminated going forward for those that are getting divorced.  Regardless, a party may have to make a motion to the court for termination, depending on the terms of the matrimonial or property settlement agreement.

If you wish to motion the court for child support or alimony modification or termination, or for the emancipation of a child, please call us at Green & Associates now at 732-390-0480 or 201-242-1119, to schedule your free consultation!


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