1. Does a career change constitute a “change of circumstances” to justify a reduction of child support and/or alimony?
This is a very difficult question, and the answer it would most likely depend on the individual judge that handles your Lepis motion. Moreover, you will have to provide a real concrete explanation why you are forced to change to change your career. Your case will depend on a careful evaluation of the “reasonableness” of your decision, and the relative advantages of your decision. The court will weigh the totality of the circumstances. See, Storey v. Storey, 373 N.J. Super 464 (App. Div. 2004).
The court will weigh the following factors when it rules on your motion;
a. The reasons for the career change;
b. The reasons for leaving your prior employment;
c. The reasons for selecting the new job;
d. The disparity between prior and present earnings;
e. Your efforts to find work at a comparable pay;
f. The extent to which the new career draws or builds upon education, skills and experience;
g. The availability of work;
h. The extent to which the new career offers opportunities for enhanced earnings in the future;
i. Age and health; and
j. The former spouse’s need for support.
See, Storey v. Storey, 373 Super. 464 (App. Div. 2004)