In the state of new Jersey, as in other states, both parents are expected to provide financial as well as emotional support for their children, regardless of marital status. This is based on the idea that children should not become economically-disadvantaged due to divorce or because their parents never married in the first place. Children deserve to have the benefit of both of their parents’ incomes. Under this policy, the state has established guidelines for the calculation of child support. This support is paid to the parent who has primary physical custody of the child by the other parent.
At Davé Law Firm, we can help you resolve your child support issue as part of your divorce, through a paternity action if you are unmarried, or in a dispute that arises long after child support has been established. Post-divorce child support disputes generally involve modification or enforcement court actions. Our Trenton child support attorneys bring considerable knowledge and legal skills to helping you seek or contest child support issues through New Jersey family courts. Our mission is to ensure that both you and your child’s best interests are represented in any child support matter.
Child Support in New Jersey
The New Jersey courts’ principal concern in child support cases is what is in the best interests of the child. This is based on the child’s needs. However, courts will also take into consideration other factors regarding both spouses when ruling on this issue.
Child support payments are generally calculated according to the incomes of both parents after allowed deductions are taken into account. These deductions can include such expenditures as taxes, retirement contributions, union dues, child care, and health care expenses. A major factor affecting child support is also whether custody is on a shared or sole basis. Where a child spends significant time with both parents, child support payments will be lower than where a child resides only with one parent. Child support is generally required until the child reaches the age of 19.
In New Jersey, child support is paid by withholding it from the payor’s income unless an alternative arrangement is permitted by the court. This income includes not only one’s work paycheck but can also include unemployment and disability benefits and any other income received. These payments are handled by the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center.
Deviations From Child Support Guidelines
Deviations from a standard application of child support guidelines is allowed by courts where the amount calculated would be considered inappropriate or unfair. Courts have the authority to consider many factors that could affect this decision.
These factors can include but are not limited to:
- Special needs of the child
- Incomes that are very high or low
- Age of the child
- Support owed to children from another relationship
- Educational or training expenses needed for a parent to increase earning ability
- Finances needed for the care of a disabled or elderly family member
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