How to Calculate Child Support in New Jersey
Child support payments in New Jersey must be calculated in accordance with the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. Some of the factors considered in calculating child support are (unless otherwise agreed to by the parties):
- The weekly gross income of the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the one who makes the child support payments. In 90% of the cases in New Jersey, it is the father who is the noncustodial parent.
- Income must include, but is not limited to, earnings such as wages, fees, tips and commissions, lottery winnings, unemployment benefits, disability grants or payments (including Social Security Disability), worker’s compensation, overtime, part-time and severance pay and any alimony or separate maintenance payments received.
- The weekly gross income of the custodial parent;
- Number of children who must be included in the child-support calculations;
- The weekly health insurance costs that are being currently paid by either parent for the benefit of the child(ren) for whom the support is being calculated;
- Whether either parent of the children for whom support is being calculated is currently paying alimony to the other parent or paying any other child support awards and the amount of such payments per week;
- The weekly costs of daycare paid by either parent for the benefit of the children for whom support is being calculated; and
- Whether either parent is currently paying child-support for children from a previous relationship.
There are other factors that are taken into consideration while deciding child support payments. For instance, the amount of parenting time (which used to be called “visitation time”) that is included in the schedule may also affect your child support payments. There may be reductions in child support payments for the overnight time that the non-custodial parent spends with the child. Typically, the parent with a higher income may be allocated a greater percentage of the total child-support obligation. However, if one parent is on welfare or is disabled, then the other person may be allocated a greater percentage of the total child-support obligation.
Ultimately, child support payments are always calculated for the benefit of the child(ren) and the New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines do contain tests that protect non-custodial parents from having to pay too much as well as also protecting the custodial parent from being left with inadequate child support.
The New Jersey family lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons in family law-related matters including divorce, child custody, child support, parenting time, visitation and other matters across New Jersey.