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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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My sons father and I divorced when my son was 3 he is now 14...we

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My sons father and I divorced when my son was 3 he is now 14...we did not go through the courts for support. I am paid through direct deposit 500.00 on the 1st and 500.00 on the 15th of the month. The amount I am paid has never changed however our circumstances have greatly changed. We have each remarried and he has had 2 more children and I have one more. I work part time and make significantly less then when we divorced and he is making significantly more. When we divorced he and I only lived about 1 mile apart (in NJ) and he and his family now live in Indiana and I am in Pa. He sees our son maybe 4 times a year and he pays for the airfare for him to fly to Indiana. If I had arranged for the support through the NJ court systems I would have recieved annual cost of living increases. I have never asked for an increase before but now it is a struggle to manage as our son is older and significantly more expensive. How should I go about getting my support increased? What would the cost of living increases over the yrs have added up to? I am not even sure what he makes now but the new cadillac that he drives and the new lexus his wife drives as well as their very lg home outside of Indianappolis says it is much more then the 60,000 he was making 12 yrs ago. Advice PLEASE!!!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

You can request a change in your child support at any time due to a material change in circumstance. The judge unfortunately won't order retroactive cost of living increases over the past several years. However, he will look at your income and expenses, and your husband's, and use that to determine what is a fair support amount.

The court that initially entered the divorce and the custody order retains jurisdiction to modify the order. Since neither you nor your husband currently lives in New Jersey, that court really isn't going to have any interest in litigating the issue. So, what you can do is try to get the case transferred to Pennsylvania (unless you really don't mind driving to NJ for any hearings). Since it can get complicated dealing with issues across state lines, it may be worth calling around to see if you can get a local attorney to help, at least with the transfer. A good place to look is http://www.martindale.com. Another option, since you've never requested an increase, is to see if there is any way to work out an agreement without going to court.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would not know what was a fair increase. How should I determine the amount to ask for. For instance it would be easy to ask my ex for an extra 200.00/or whatever if I knew how much the cost of living increases over the yrs should have been. Is there anyway of finding our what the automatic increases would have been? Then I would have a starting point to negotiate an increase without involving the courts. I could simply say hay if the courts managed my support this is what you would be paying now. I am not looking for back support adjustments or anything like that...I just want a fair increase. 14 yr olds are expensive.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
The problem is, any automatic increases would also have been based on the amounts that he would have been paying under NJ law fifteen years ago, which may or may not be the amount that he's been paying. Also, it would have been based on your income then, and his income then, which has changed dramatically. It's really probably going to be easier and less confusing to start over using the current guidelines, rather than backtracking through everything that's happened.

This is the calculator currently used in New Jersey. For now, you can estimate his income. If you end up filing a motion to modify the amounts, then you can use the discovery process to request copies of his pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns.
http://www.njchildsupport.org/Article.asp?AID=174

Here is the calculator currently used in Pennsylvania, if you want to do a comparison.
http://www.humanservices.state.pa.us/CSWS/CSWS_controller.aspx?nkvarNtKQEXKcJXTMS9dzhOXBQM3WDqGns8h4aH_zac6vgRAMt0ncsU22tTygdIc@DDC8DAe6vxASJRHdvjUGA--PpwH1nRO0L580BwISksx_MrG6ZCo@YrfYdnirvi8IwBGmaWTHG1x
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20381
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
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