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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31525
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have a question. My daughter's father was a police

Customer Question

Hi - I have a question. My daughter's father was a police officer and had to retire due to an knee injury. He is now receiving retired disability benefits. I am not entirely sure what that is. I am also not sure if he received some sort of settlement from the city where he was a police officer, since he was injured while working. I don't know how to find this out. He never sees our daughter, so his current child support is $884 per month. He told me he is going to take me to court to have the payments reduced. I am upset about this because our daughter is now in college, and college is expensive. I am wondering if I can have the courts keep the payments the same. He says child support is based on his old salary of $135,000 a year, and now he will be bring in $76,000 a year. But he is also moving to South Carolina where the cost of living is much cheaper than where our child and I live (New Jersey). I looked it up and $76,000 is the equivalent of about $102,000 in NJ. New Jersey's housing is 51% more expensive alone in New Jersey than in South Carolina. I am wondering if the courts will consider keeping the child support payments as they are. He only has 3 years left until she is 21, he has zero relationship with her, college is expensive, and also, while on state disability, you are allowed to work up to a certain dollar amount. He only has a bad knee, it isn't like he is incapable of every working. What can I do when he does take me to court to have his child support payments lowered. What are the chances it will be lowered?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

Child support is based on income.......and if his income has decreased through no fault of his own (since he's been injured and is now considered disabled), then it is very likely that the court could reduce his obligation based on his new income.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Even though he will be living in a state where the cost of living is much less expensive than where live in New Jersey?
Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

That said, if he received a large personal injury settlement or other income that he didn't include in his child support calculations, it may be possible for you to seek her portion of that income....but, that would likely be a one time payment/payout and not a monthly obligation increase.

Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

Unfortunately, where he lives and the cost of living is irrelevant to child support calculations. If you look at it the other way, you wouldn't agree to a reduction of child support so he could live in Manhattan or Beverly Hills.....so the main element is income.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
what if he received some sort of settlement?
Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

If he received a settlement and didn't count it as income......and didn't pay your child the requisite amount of support on the income....you could ask the judge to require him to pay her support based on that amount.

Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

So, if he files to modify his child support obligation, you can respond by asking the court to determine if he received a settlement for his injuries, etc., and if so, require him to pay a lump sum amount to you/your daughter.

Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions, and thanks for allowing me to assist!