What Can I do if I Have Overpaid Child Support?
New Jersey child support is generally determined based on a calculation of a litany of financial and other factors. However, the system is not perfect, and mistakes may lead to situations where the child support payor makes larger than appropriate payments. Co-parents may not know where to turn, whether they have unknowingly paid or received more child support than was owed. It is important to understand the different scenarios which lead to overpayments, current New Jersey child support regulations, and what actions can be taken to rectify the situation.
The child support attorneys of Jacobs Berger have extensive experience assisting clients to draft accurate and equitable child support agreement and with the modification of existing child support agreements. Our attorneys view each case we take as an opportunity to help our clients build a solid foundation for the future of their families. We partner with clients to lessen the emotional and financial stresses of the legal process, all while focusing on securing a positive outcome for our clients from Morris County towns and all of Northern New Jersey.
Call our office today to discuss any questions and concerns you might have about a potential or existing child support agreements in a confidential and comprehensive case assessment.
Child Support Miscalculation Attorneys Discuss Cause of Overpayment
There are several different scenarios which may lead to overpayment of child support in New Jersey. Our Randolph child support miscalculation attorneys may offer different legal advice depending on the nature of your overpayments. Common situations can include:
Misunderstanding the terms of your agreement – sometimes overpayment can simply be an oversight on the paying party. In this case, the courts may consider how long this overpayment was made, whether the child support recipient knew about the overpayment, and more when determining how to correct the mispayment.
Errors made by the courts – clerical errors and other missteps do occur during the child support calculation process. Adjustments and/or modifications are often appropriate in this case.
Paying past the termination date – child support termination can be dictated by a number of different reasons, but are primarily terminated on a pre-determined date or on the child’s 19th birthday.
Child Support Modification Lawyers: N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.23a
Pursuant to New Jersey Revised Statutes section 2A:17-56.23A – Enforcement of Child Support Orders as Judgements; Prospective Modification of Orders: “No payment or installment of an order for child support, or those portions of an order which are allocated for child support established prior to or subsequent to the effective date of… shall be retroactively modified by the court…”
In other words, even if it is shown that child support was paid erroneously or in a greater degree than was just, it is unlikely that the payor will be reimbursed or that any retroactive actions will be taken. While this may initially seem unfair, it must be remembered that child support payments are meant to cover the costs of childcare. It is the position of the New Jersey court system that reimbursements of child support overpayments will put the custodial in a difficult financial position, and will therefore negatively impact the child.
For example, the 2015 case of Schmidt v. Breda in the New Jersey Appellate courts, the decision to not reimburse overpayment was upheld after appeal. For many years, a father had been overpaying due to a miscalculation and misinterpretation of child support regulations in an amount totaling $4,512. The judge ultimately ruled against reimbursement under the assumption that those funds had been used on the child and further action would only take many away from the child’s care.
What are my Options if I have Overpaid Child Support?
The most important thing to do if you have been overpaying child support is to contact a Morris County child support attorney as soon as possible. In fact, the same is true if you have been receiving overpayment as well. There are several reasons not to wait, but the primary reason is the legal concept of laches, referring to inactivity or lack of diligence leading to delayed legal action.
To put this more simply, it can be (and has been) successfully argued that child support overpayments will not be reimbursed because the paying party knew about the erroneous payment for a long period of time and failed to take action. On the flip side, remaining silent about overpayment may have consequences as well.
It is possible to have child support overpayments result in favorable agreement modifications, termination, and in some cases even reimbursement. However, the process often involves complex legal action and only a qualified and experienced legal team can offer the counsel you will need to be successful.
Contact our Child Support Overpayment Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our child support overpayment attorneys understand that there are many potential solutions to miscalculated child support. We take pride in offering dynamic and multidimensional legal solutions for our child support clients from Morris County towns and across all of Northern New Jersey. Our firm rejects the cookie-cutter legal service of larger firms, instead opting to focus on the unique needs and concerns of each client.
To learn more about your legal standing regarding child support overpayment or any other divorce or family law matter, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ offices by calling (973) 710-4366 today for a confidential and comprehensive case assessment.