Can I pay much less youngster help after altering jobs? | Biz mind

Q. I am confused about how child support works. Suppose you agree on a certain amount based on your current salary of around 50 percent, but then switch your career to a much lower salary for a more comfortable job or a new career. What happens to the maintenance amount?
– Unsure

A. Maintenance, child support, custody and parental leave issues can be reviewed and changed.

To qualify for such a review, and possibly a change, a divorced person must determine that there has been a “significant, permanent change in circumstances” since the order establishing the maintenance obligations, said Kenneth White, divorce attorney at Shane and White in Edison.

White said that when a court issues a maintenance obligation, it doesn’t matter whether the terms were set by mutual agreement or by a judge as a result of a trial. The terms have the same meaning, he said.

“In particular, the terms are binding as if a full trial had been completed and the judge had made factual findings and legal conclusions,” he said. “Any alleged ‘change in circumstances’ that a party wishes to invoke must have occurred after the last order that establishes or addresses the maintenance obligation has been entered.”

White said you should understand that voluntary underemployment is not a “change in circumstances” that the court deems worthy of a review or change to a maintenance obligation.

“When the maintenance obligation was established, it was based on your ability to pay versus your ex’s financial needs so that your ex can maintain the marital lifestyle that you previously enjoyed,” he said.

Assuming that you voluntarily switched jobs to pursue a career with a much lower annual salary, a judge would likely find that you made a decision, but that your ex shouldn’t face the consequences of your choice.
You could ask the judge how to pay more than he makes and the judge would likely say that you made a voluntary decision, so you need to find a way around that, White said.

When you have lost your job and have made good faith efforts to find similar employment over an extended period of time, perhaps one to two years, and through no fault of your own have been forced to take up employment outside of your historical past Area at a lower salary rate, a judge could decide in your favor.

“But the onus is on you to prove that you did everything right, that you made a good faith effort to find a comparable job, and that this new job is the best you can do through no fault of your own. taking into account your professional history, educational level, and other skills, “said White.

However, he warns you that this is a high hurdle to overcome, as the court has heard similar stories of suffering from other people for many years and has become a little cynical.

“If you take your case to court and say you switched jobs to do ‘more fun work’, you get no relief,” White said.

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Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for’s weekly e-newsletter.

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