In NJ, child support can be modified and/or reduced, if there is a legal basis to support it. If a party has experienced "changed circumstances" as defined by Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139 (1980), he/she may file a motion with the Court to increase or decrease the child support he/she is paying or receiving. Before using the Guidelines to modify the child support award, the Court must find "changed circumstances." For example, if the payor parent's income substantially decreases, that parent may apply to the court for a reduction in support or if the payor's income increases, the payee may seek more child support.
Lepis requires that the change in circumstance be permanent, substantial and unanticipated. The party bringing the application to modify his/her child support has the burden to prove "changed circumstances" before the other party is required to provide the Court with his/her financial information. Examples of "changed circumstances" include loss of a job, permanent disability/illness of a party or a child, decreased or increased parenting time by the non-custodial parent, and attainment of a higher paying job.
Cost of Living Adjustment
Pursuant to Rule 5:6B of the New Jersey Court Rules, all child support orders "entered, modified, or enforced after [September 1, 1998] shall provide that the child support amount will be adjusted every two years to reflect the cost of living." A cost of living adjustment is performed by the New Jersey Child Support Probation Department.
The cost of living is based on the consumer price index of the metropolitan area that includes New Jersey. The New Jersey Child Support Probation Department is required to send both parties notice of the proposed adjustment and each party has thirty days in which to contest the adjustment.
A "changed circumstances" modification will restart the two year time period. However, a cost of living adjustment does not preclude an application for medication due to "changed circumstances."
As such, if these things are present, you could prevail.