While there are many different circumstances which can allow for a parent to file a motion for a child support modification, if your child support is being paid/received through the Probation Division, there will automatically be an increase to your child support agreement every two years in what is known as a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
As the name suggests, a Cost of Living Adjustment operates under the assumption that the cost of living for your children has increased, and also under the assumption that the party making the child support payments (the obligor) has also secured a corresponding increase to their income.
But how exactly are COLA child support modifications adjusted, and when can an obligor contest a COLA child support modification? Let’s take a look.
Calculating COLA for Bergen County Child Support Agreements
Cost of Living Adjustments are calculated according to the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a function of the United States Department of Labor, and basically calculates the “monthly change in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services”, calculated differently depending on the metropolitan region in question.
COLA modifications are only applied to child support agreements reached after September 1st, 1998, and are pursuant to Court Rule 5:6B. As part of that court rule, obligors are given a 30 day notice of when a planned Cost of Living Adjustment will take place, and can contest this child support adjustment within that 30 day time period.
Contesting a Cost of Living Adjustment, Paramus COLA Lawyers
If you are making child support payments to the Probation Division, and have received a notice regarding a pending Cost of Living Adjustment, you may be able to contest this adjustment by filing a written objection to the Probation Division. However, in order for your objection of a COLA to be successful, you must prove one of the following factors to be true:
- You mistakenly received the COLA, and are not the obligor in the case mentioned in the notice
- The amount of child support listed in the COLA is incorrect
- Your child support agreement provides for an alternate timetable or form of Cost of Living Adjustment
- Your income did not increase at an equal rate to the amount described by the Consumer Price Index
Of course, when it comes to proving these factors, and successfully contesting a COLA, it is highly recommended that you retain the counsel of our experienced Paramus COLA lawyers, as we can help you to review the COLA itself, and gather and present the necessary evidence which will allow you to contest the Cost of Living Adjustment.
Contact Our Bergen County Child Support Modification Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping parents to secure fair child support agreements, modify their child support agreements when circumstances change, and ensure that any Cost of Living Adjustment made to your child support agreement is reasonable and accurate in towns across Bergen County, including Paramus, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Ridgewood, and Hackensack.
By practicing exclusively family and divorce law, our firm can focus on providing each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal counsel that they need and deserve when it comes to any kind of matter affecting their family, or their individual parental or financial rights and future.
To speak with our attorney team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your child support agreement, a child support modification, or a Cost of Living Adjustment, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.