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child support reduction

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new jersey.
I am unemployed since nov 00.
while employed I was up to date on all child support payments which totalled $731 a month for the 3 years we had been divorced, never got behind.
My divorce agreement stated i would give her $1000 a month in child support which i agreed to as i thought i'd be able to afford it.
after the 1st month on my own i realized i could'nt afford to overpay her and reduced the monthly amount to the $731 the state figure was supposed to be but never legally.
She never balked about this.
since my unemployment i have given her anywhere from $100-150 per month through march of this year and i really could'nt afford to do that, but i did.
I have given her nothing in april & may as i am a financial basket case.
#1-How do i go about petitioning the courts to reduce child support payments?
#2-Can they be reduced retroactive to my last day of employment?
#3-since she accepted without complaint for 3 years the $731 state figure, is that not tacit acceptance of what she was legitimately entitled to and can she go after me for the $269 per month shortfall as backpay?




If there is a child support order in place, you are liable for that full amount, minus the amount you paid, regardless of any private, verbal agreement you might have w/your ex.

That amount will not change until/unless you go to court.

And then the change doesn't take place until either the filing of the petition or the date of the court's new order, depending on the mood of the judge and your attorney's vigilance. It won't go back to the first date of unemployment.

If folks could get out of child support by being unemployed or starting their own businesses and not making much money, no one would ever pay child support.

If you CHOOSE to do something that doesn't pay, the court figures that's your problem and choice, not the child's.

If you DO go to court, I sincerely doubt the court will lower the amount because it will reason that your financial status occurred through your own choices. It's not like you were in an accident and became disabled or anything.

Sorry. I'm guessing this isn't what you wanted to hear.

But that's the way the law is, and I'm sure you can probably imagine why....

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