Military service may change child support obligations

New Jersey residents who are members of the U.S. armed services or who may enlist in the military frequently have to deal with long absences from their families. These separations, however, are not the only changes that may occur as the result of military duty being activated. If you are required to pay child support, your service activation may result in the need for your support obligation to be amended.

Not everyone may be eligible for a modification of a support award as there are specific requirements that must be met. The New Jersey Courts explain that your ability to leave the country to perform your military service may even be in jeopardy if you have a past-due amount of unpaid support beyond a certain threshold. This is because you may not be allowed to get a passport until you have made plans to come current on your payments. If this does not apply to you, you may be able to petition the court to have your support order modified.

You might also need to discuss the situation with your Commanding Officer, especially if you are also required to provide health care insurance for your child or children. Ensuring that you do not miss any payments as you transition to military service is also important for you.

If you would like to learn more about child support and how your military service may effect an order for child support, please feel free to visit the child support page of our New Jersey family law website.