How to have alimony and child support payments modified?

UPDATED: Sep 12, 2011

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How to have alimony and child support payments modified?

My divorce was 11 years ago. At the time of the divorce I was making about $80,000 per year and alimony and child support was $485 per week. I lost my job the following year and over the next 10 years averaged only 36,000. My ex was very good about it and we had agreed that I would pay her back out of the profit when our house was sold. All these years I wanted to consult an attorney, but never could afford it. What are the chances of having this case reviewed and possibly revised.

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Family Law, New Jersey


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case, changed circumstances such as a change in income is a ground for supporting a modification of child support and spousal support.

File an Order to Show Cause (court form) with the court requesting a modification of child support and spousal support.  The Order to Show Cause should be filed with your declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating the facts (reduced income) supporting your request for modification of child support and spousal support.  As evidence of your reduced income, it would be advisable to include a current Income and Expense Declaration with pay stubs and/or income tax returns.  Attach a proof of service to the documents you file with the court.  When you file your Order to Show Cause with the court, the court will schedule a hearing on your request for modification of child support and spousal support.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing your documents to your former spouse.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless specified otherwise to _____________ (name and address of former spouse) on ___________ (date).   You sign and date the proof of service at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same as the date you file your documents with the court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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