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Child Support

in New Jersey

Don’t Let Your Children Go Unsupported. Meet With a New Jersey Child Support Lawyer Today.

Divorce often involves more than two people. It usually includes children that require proper support. Additionally, children who are born to parents who are not married may require a formal arrangement to ensure that they receive the financial support they deserve. It is essential to make sure enough funds are available to keep them properly cared for and supported.

Raising children can be a rewarding yet expensive proposition. There are simple ways to settle a fair child support obligation without strife.  As a New Jersey child support lawyer, I focus on putting the children’s needs first and help negotiate fair arrangements between parents.

Talk To An Attorney And Get Your Legal Questions Answered

Talk To An Attorney And Get Your Legal Questions Answered

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines

In New Jersey, child support laws maintain the idea that children deserve the right to be equally supported financially by both parents. As a trained New Jersey child support lawyer, I work with you and discuss the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which provides an assessment of how financial obligations are calculated.

New Jersey courts consider the following factors when making child support determinations:

The Child’s Specific Needs 

Jersey courts are concerned with what is in the child’s best interests. Every child has unique needs. The court will attempt to anticipate the child’s needs and provide a support order that addresses them. Generally, older children are more expensive than younger children, so awards that are entered when a child is older may be higher than awards set for younger children. 

Child support is intended to provide for the basic necessities of the child. In general, the child support payments cover housing, food, clothing, transportation, certain healthcare expenses, and entertainment.  Other payments can be added to child support if it fits certain criteria under court rules. Examples include the cost of religious education or special dietary restrictions.

However, children are not entitled to overindulgences. While a court may consider that support should be provided so the child has transportation, it probably will not order that support should provide for the purchase of a luxury car. 

The Parents’ Lifestyles and the Child’s Standard of Living 

Child support determinations are made in contemplation of the family’s respective standard of living or lifestyle. Courts might consider the cost of housing, utilities, transportation, education, extracurricular activities, entertainment, personal care items, and other expenses. The court will try to maintain the child’s same standard of living they would have experienced had the parents lived together.

All Sources of Income 

New Jersey courts will consider all sources of income, which might include:

  • Wages and salaries
  • Bonuses, commissions, tips, and incentive pay
  • Income-producing assets
  • Business income
  • Profits from the sale of property or investments
  • Interest and dividends
  • Rental income
  • Alimony income
  • Lottery and gambling winnings
  • Distributions from assets, annuities, or trusts
  • Public assistance
  • Retirement plan distributions
  • Settlement awards
  • Unemployment benefits and severance pay

In some situations, the court can assign income to a parent if it believes the parent is earning less than they are capable of to evade a higher child support obligation. 

Sources of Debt 

The court can adjust a child support award if the parent providing support has a lot of debt that was accumulated to help provide for the child. It can also adjust child support if the child has debt, such as student loan debt.

The Parents’ Earning Capacities 

Child support can be ordered for many years to come, so the court will consider what the parents’ current incomes are now, as well as what they will likely be in the future. The court can determine the earning capacity of each parent by considering their:

  • Education
  • Work history
  • Job skills
  • Training
  • Length of time and expense to obtain additional training or experience

The Roles of the Parents in the Child’s Life 

Jersey family courts can also consider the roles each parent has played in their child’s life so far. Additionally, the time that the child spends with each parent is also considered.

Expenses Each Parent Has Historically Paid for the Child 

The expenses that each parent has historically paid for the benefit of the child will also be considered.

The Need and Ability of the Child for Higher Education 

Child support in New Jersey may continue after your child is an adult if they are in a post-secondary education program if your child is diligently pursuing education full-time. Your child’s grade, attendance, and progress can impact whether support is ordered or continued during this time.

The Child’s Age, Health, Income, Assets, and Earning Ability 

The court can also considers specific information about their: 

  • Age – Generally, older children are more expensive than younger ones. Clothing, transportation, extracurricular activities, and education may all cost more. 
  • Health – The court can consider if your child has a disability or chronic medical condition that requires ongoing care and attention.
  • Income – The court may reduce the child support obligation if your child has a job and pays for some of their own expenses. 
  • Assets – The court can also consider if your child has any of their own assets and whether they receive financial support from these assets.
  • Earning ability – One of the considerations that the court will factor in is whether your child is likely to go to college and will require financial assistance during this time period.

The Responsibility of the Parents for Other Court-Ordered Support

If a supporting parent has another court-ordered support case, the court may order less child support in the new case. 

Knowing the factors the court will consider when making determinations about child support can help you and your co-parent reach an amicable decision regarding support and keep out of the expensive process of litigation.

Planning For Expenses Not Covered By Child Support

It is important that you consider all of your children’s expenses, as many of them are not covered in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.  I sit down with you and discuss your financial situation. I analyze your income and expenses and compare it to the other parent’s financial standing.

It is essential to make a list of child-related expenses, as many may not be covered by child support guidelines.  If you have older children, they may require a car, which has a number of additional expenses like insurance and gas.  They may also need you to contribute to college expenses, which tends to be a highly contentious and controversial issue between divorcing couples.  I can help you work through these issues to find a wise and workable solutions for your family.

Talk To An Attorney And Get Your Legal Questions Answered

Talk To An Attorney And Get Your Legal Questions Answered

Enforcing Child Support Orders

Although I help you through the entire support journey, I also provide service to parents who have not kept up with payment schedules. I help you act quickly to address outstanding child support arrears, warrants that you may face, and I create solutions to resolve your child support problems. If possible, I try to settle these problems outside of court, and always have you and your children’s best interests at heart.  However, if you are dealing with an individual who is avoiding support payments, I can help you enforce child support through the court system, which often involves requesting arrest warrants and other sanctions.

Modification of Child Support After Divorce

After a certain amount of time passes, certain support cases may be revisited for modification. It may arise as children age and needs change as well.  For example, your child may be emancipated, which usually means that the parents are no longer obligated to continue support.

Another regular source of modification issues stem from a parent’s change of financial circumstances.  If you find yourself out of a job or with a loss of income, I can help you alleviate some financial burden and set up a new payment schedule.

Andrew R. Fischer, Esq. – New Jersey Child Support Lawyer

As a Freehold divorce attorney and family mediator who specializes in family law, I strive to help families get through divorce without long and tedious court battles.  I work to uncover the best ways to reach amicable agreements throughout the divorce process. Child support is something that can be settled quickly and fairly. Make an appointment for a free initial consultation, and get a firsthand look at the way I inject positivity and quality into each client interaction. You can rest assured your needs will be met each and every time.

Talk To An Attorney And Get Your Legal Questions Answered

Talk To An Attorney And Get Your Legal Questions Answered