Obtaining Child Support In New Jersey
New Jersey law states that both parents of a child must provide financial support until the child turns 18, marries, “moves beyond the sphere of influence” of the parents, becomes an active member of armed forces, or is no longer pursuing education and is working full time.
The amount of support is set by a formula known as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. The court considers a number of factors in determining how much one parent must pay the other in child support. These factors include:
- The number of children
- The incomes of both parents
- The amount of time the child spends with each parent under a child custody arrangement
- Any child care costs that are being paid by either parent
- The standard of living that was set before the relationship ended
- Any child support payments a party is paying for children from a previous relationship
- Any support that is being paid by one spouse to another
- All reasonable debts and liabilities of each parent and child
Make Sure You Have An Attorney To Advocate For Your Child Support Interests
Although the court has less flexibility in setting child support than, say, spousal support or in determining child custody, it is important to retain the services of a knowledgeable New Jersey child support attorney who will protect your rights and help you resolve the issue. The family law attorneys at Deitch & Perone, P.C., in Monmouth County, advocate aggressively for parents and their children, whether you expect to receive child support or make child support payments.
Deviations From New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
There are situations in which the court deviates from the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These include households that have a combined annual income after taxes in excess of $187,200. In these situations, the court has more leeway to factor in additional costs necessary to maintain a standard of living that was set before the relationship ended. This may include private education, tutoring, travel and hobbies.
There are also situations in which a party may petition the court to order child support that is below the guideline amount. And it is possible to petition the court to modify an existing child support order if a change in job status or other life event warrants. In all cases, the court will put the best interests of the child first.
How Are College Expenses Covered?
In New Jersey, college expenses are generally viewed as a necessity, so contribution towards college expenses should be a part of any child support agreement. This is not automatic though. New Jersey courts will not award contribution towards college expenses if it presents an undue hardship on either parent.
Our attorneys will help you work through college costs as part of your child support agreement. We will help you negotiate what should be included as part of that calculation. Are books, room and board, and college prep courses included? What type of school should be covered? We can advise you on how to approach college expenses during your divorce.
Contact Our Experienced Child Support Lawyers
Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation in which we can answer your questions regarding child support, review the facts of your case and recommend the best course of action. We work with clients throughout Monmouth County and across central New Jersey.