Child support is a continuous responsibility of both parents. The information provided below is on the basis that one parent is the custodial parent.
New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines make an attempt to equally divide the cost of raising a child equitably between both parents. Non-custodial parents often believe that they’re paying more than half of the cost of raising their child, but this is erroneous.
The amount of income a parent makes is the major deciding factor of how much child support is granted.
Child Support Payment Information
New Jersey has a strict set of guidelines that are followed when determining child support payments. Estimating the amount that you’ll pay can be done by filling out the following worksheets (required by the courts):
What you will notice is that the income support available does allow for the deduction of certain items, including:
- Income tax
- Union dues
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Support paid to another parent
The contribution will also account for the amount of shared parenting time received. You’ll need to account for weekends that you’ll have the child in your custody and so forth.
In most cases, the sole parenting worksheet will be utilized. This worksheet is used when a child lives with one parent for a majority of the time. As a result, the parent will receive a higher percentage of total income towards support.
Variable expenses, such as food and transportation, will be need to be calculated.
Child support is based on the total income of both parents. A prime example of this would be a couple that has 2 children which stay 52 overnights with the non-custodial parent. If the custodial parent earns $35,000 a year and the non-custodial parent earns $50,000 a year, the current guidelines would equate to child support being: $352 per week. This figure does not account for other adjustments, such as child care and health insurance.
The $352 would be split equally among parents at $176 per week.
However, the courts can account for other adjustments, leaving the non-custodial parent paying far more than their fair share.
In the event that the child’s time is equally divided among both parents, support will be calculated differently, and child support payments will be much lower as a result.
Child Support Duration
Child support under the Child Support Guidelines can be received from birth through the child’s 17th birthday. The cost of raising a child increases as the child ages. When a child is over 12 years of age, child support payments will rise by an average rate of 14.6%.
There are stipulations wherein child support may be extended past a child’s 18th birthday if he or she remains in high school or a secondary education institution.
Children that enter into college usually cause payments to end. But, if the child does live at home at this time, the court can, at its own discretion, require support from the non-custodial parent.
Courts may deviate from the guidelines if a child has special needs.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.