According to Court Rule 5:6B, all child support payments which are made through the Probation Division will automatically increase every two years in what is known as a “Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)”.
If you are currently paying child support directly to your former spouse, while you do not need to worry about getting a COLA notice in the mail every two years, it is still possible for the parent who is receiving child support payments to request a child support modification based on an increase in the cost of living.
On the other hand, if you are paying child support through the Probation Division, every two years you will get a letter informed you of a Cost of Living Adjustment to your child support payments. But what is a Cost of Living Adjustment, how is it calculated, and what are your options? Let’s take a look.
Union County Cost of Living Adjustment Attorney
Cost of Living Adjustments, as the name suggests, are adjustments to child support obligations based on the understanding that the cost of living for the children has increased, and also that the party making the child support payments (the obligor) has secured a corresponding increase to their income.
This incremental increase is based upon the statistics measured in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Part of the United States Department of Labor, the Consumer Price Index calculates the changes to prices paid by urban consumers for a wide variety of goods and services on a monthly basis. The CPI will release different increases for different metropolitan regions of the United States, so your Cost of Living Adjustment will be based on the Consumer Price Index for the area where you live.
As previously noted, Cost of Living Adjustments occur every two years for obligors making child support payments through their state’s Probation Division. The Probation Division will mail a letter informing obligors of a pending COLA, and obligors have 30 days to respond to this notice, and potentially contest the Cost of Living Adjustment to their child support payments.
When a Cost of Living Adjustment Can Be Contested, Elizabeth Child Support Lawyer
If you have received a letter regarding a pending Cost of Living Adjustment, it may be possible for you to contest this increase to your child support payments if one of any of the following factors are true:
- You received the COLA letter by mistake, and are not the obligor in the case mentioned
- The child support amount listed in the pending COLA is not correct
- Your child support agreement provides for an alternative timetable or method of Cost of Living Adjustments
- Your income did not increase at the same rate as the quoted Consumer Price Index increase
In order to officially contest your COLA based on any of the factors listed above, you will need to file a written objection with the Probation Division. Of course, when it comes to such important financial matters as child support, child support modifications, or a Cost of Living Adjustment, it is highly recommended that you retain the counsel of an experienced Elizabeth child support lawyer in order to help you better understand your options, represent you throughout the legal process, and help you present the evidence and arguments necessary to securing the resolution which makes the most sense in your unique situation.
Contact A Union County Child Support Modification Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Edward Cooper, we have extensive experience helping parents to draft fair and reasonable child support agreements, modify their child support agreement when circumstances change, and ensure that any Cost of Living Adjustment made to their child support agreement accurately reflects the financial situation of both parents in towns across Union County, including Elizabeth, Westfield, Plainfield, Linden, and Union.
Attorney Edward S. Cooper strongly believes that by listening closely to the unique needs and concerns of each of his clients, and keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better work to achieve the type of resolution to their family law or divorce matter which best meets those same needs and concerns.
To speak with Edward Cooper and our offices today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your child support agreement, a child support modification, or any type of Cost of Living Adjustment issue, please contact us online, or through our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625.