Child support with an extreme higher earning parent

by Jeralyn Lawrence, Family Law Attorney, Lawrence Law

In a recent New Jersey appellate division case of Ianniello v. Pizzo, the appellate division upheld the trial court’s denial of the custodial parent’s request to increase child support.

The non-custodial parent was paying $10,000 per month. The custodial parent sought a $65,000 per month increase for a monthly payment of $75,000 in child support.

The court found no change in circumstances warranting a review of the $10,000 per month payment. The court also maintained the $10,000 payment indicating that the child’s needs were being met at this level.

It is important in cases where the parents are earning above the child support guidelines that specific and detailed budgets are prepared as that initial support amount becomes a benchmark that may be difficult to convince a Judge to upwardly modify notwithstanding the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay.

In this case, at the time of the divorce, the non-custodial parent earned $11 million dollars that year. Five years after the divorce, the custodial parent sought to increase child support. The non-custodial parent was then earning $16 million dollars. In the years immediately prior to the application to review child support, the non-custodial parent earned $31 million dollars, $24 million dollars and $23 million dollars. Despite the tremendous increase in income and ability to pay, the needs of the children were being met, the court found. Therefore, the court did not increase the monthly support even though there is an extreme higher earning parent.

For more information about this blog or other divorce, matrimonial or family law issues contact me at moc.m1593712055rifwa1593712055lwal@1593712055ecner1593712055walj1593712055.

Jeralyn Lawrence is a family law attorney with Lawrence Law in Watchung. She also serves as Second Vice President of the New Jersey State Bar Association (slated to become President in 2022), is the Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, and serves as Second Vice-President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She can be reached at moc.m1593712055rifwa1593712055lwal@1593712055ecner1593712055walj1593712055 or (908) 645-1000.

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