Family Law FAQs

I am getting divorced. Do I really need an attorney?

Even if you have a simple, uncontested divorce, it is wise to consider hiring an attorney because the attorney can guide you through the process and prepare the necessary paperwork to get you divorced.

Furthermore, if there are any disputes or complications regarding division of assets and debts, taxes, child custody and visitation, child support/alimony, and especially if your spouse has hired a lawyer, you need the experienced family law attorneys at Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn & Roemersma who are intimately familiar with the court system and the laws of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and can ensure that your rights are protected.

Once a court issues a child support order, can the amount of support that is paid be changed?

The amount of child support is modifiable under certain circumstances and through a variety of methods. The simplest method is for the parents to agree to a change, but the court must still approve an agreed-upon change in order for it to be enforceable.

When there is no voluntary agreement, the party seeking the change must request a court hearing at which each side will present, usually through counsel, the reasons supporting and opposing the modification. The court usually will not grant the request unless there has been some fairly significant change in circumstances that justifies the change, such as a significant increase in either parent's income through a remarriage or job change or a substantial change in the needs of the child. Changes in the child support laws, too, may justify a change in previously issued orders.

Also, an increase in the cost of living can warrant an upward modification of child support, but generally these periodic increases are provided for in the original order so that the parties do not need to make repeated court appearances each time there is a significant change in the cost of living. Other anticipated changes that can be provided for in the original child support order include a reduction upon the emancipation of each child, a modification when a child enters college (under New Jersey law), or any other change based on an event that the parties anticipate and that will have an impact on need or ability to pay.