Skip to main content

My wife agreed to lower child support since I lost my job. Court disagrees and, although I am making less, wants me to pay...

Parsippany, NJ |

wants me to pay according to my salary years ago (substantially higher). I am nearly bankrupt. My question: An attorney said to me that if my wife consents, I can remove the case from Probation so that I make payments DIRECTLY to my wife - she is willing to accept less money since she understands. Can this be done? Will I benefit from bankruptcy to prove "changed circumstances"?

I am looking for a good attorney on this one...

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If your ex (and the children) aren't receiving public assistance, then, yes you can take it out of probation and make it a direct pay, and/or she can agree to zero out arrears, and/or she can agree to accept a different amount of support than the child support guidelines would require (but you must attach the guidelines and the waiver must be "knowing"). Consent order should be less than an hour of legal time to have an attorney draft up.

    If she's getting public assistance, it's not up to her, it's up to the Board of Social Services.

    Bankruptcy has no effect on arrears and doesn't control a court's decision as to your financial situation, although judges will generally consider it as evidence (not conclusive proof) that you've had a change in circumstances.

    IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.


  2. I agree with counsel. So long as public benefits are not involved, you can work this out with your wife.

    Disclaimer: This email message in no way creates an attorney client relationship between Majeski Law, LLC and the recipient. Responses are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer regarding any specific legal matter.


  3. The other answers are correct and you should get her to enter into the consent order closing out the probation account and make sure is removes all arrears. You can always close the probation account, however, the issue with public assistance is that if she is receiving benefits, thus your children are receiving benefits from the state, the state is entitled to have those benefits repaid by you. New Jersey allows a court to impute income to a person that the court believes is under employed or when that person has not shown a significant change in circumstances to allow the lower income to be used.

    Good luck.

    I would be happy to follow up with you. Please email me directly or call my office if you would like to schedule an appointment either in person or by telephone. www.burnhamlawgroup.com Disclaimer: You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your situation, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the result for your situation. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit should the suggestion be followed with undesirable results.

Family law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics