The holiday season is a time when many people face financial stress. With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting people’s finances in a variety of ways, for many, this holiday season will be one of the most difficult ever. If you cannot afford everything you would like this holiday season, what should you do? Here are some insights from a Clark child support lawyer:
Divorced and Separated Parents Must Meet Their Child Support Obligations
In New Jersey, divorced and separated parents must meet their child support obligations. The obligation to pay child support is established by court order, and violating a court order by failing to pay child support can have serious consequences.
Parents Cannot Buy Presents Instead of Paying Child Support
While some parents may be tempted to buy their children gifts with the money they would normally use to pay child support, this should be avoided. Again, paying child support is mandatory, and parents cannot choose to buy gifts instead even if they truly have their children’s best interests in mind. If possible, parents should find other ways to save instead, and those who qualify should consider using resources that are available to struggling parents during the holidays (see below for some suggestions).
You May Qualify for a Child Support Modification
If you can no longer make your monthly child support payments, you may qualify for a child support modification. In New Jersey, parents can obtain child support modifications based on need due to “changed circumstances.” If you lost your job during the pandemic, if your hours have been cut, or if you are facing financial stress due to another change in circumstances beyond your control, you may qualify.
Even if you qualify for a modification, you must continue to make your payments until the modification goes through. With this in mind, you should hire a Clark child support lawyer to file your request to modify child support as soon as possible.
Resources for Parents During the Holidays
Fortunately, parents in New Jersey who cannot afford to buy a Thanksgiving meal or buy gifts for their children have options available. There are several charitable organizations that place special emphasis on helping struggling parents during the holidays. If you or someone you know is struggling to make ends meet, these organizations and programs may help:
- Community Foodbank of New Jersey Turkey Donation Drive
- New Jersey Association for Justice Turkey Drive
- The Salvation Army – New Jersey Division
- The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program
The New Jersey Department of Human Services provides a list of financial assistance programs for parents and families as well.
Speak with a Clark Child Support Lawyer in Confidence
If you have questions about your child support obligations or the possibility of modifying your child support order, we encourage you to get in touch. To speak with a Clark child support lawyer in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can help online today.