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New Jersey Child Support Basics

November 23, 2016 | Posted In Family Law

For parents who are going through a divorce, the issue of child support can be stressful and oftentimes very emotional.  That process can become even more difficult when the parent who is required to pay child support is not working or refuses to pay the court-ordered dollar amount.

Child Support Guidelines

In the state of New Jersey, child support guidelines are applied to divorce cases, as well as paternity cases involving children born out of wedlock.  These guidelines are applied by the judge in all such cases unless it is determined that their application would result in an injustice. 

The underlying philosophy of the guidelines is to protect the best interest of the children, including:

  • Both Parents: Child support is the continuous duty of both parents.
  • Current Income: Children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents.
  • Economic Victims: Children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out of wedlock birth.

An experienced New Jersey child support lawyer can review your case and confirm the amount of child support that is owed, as well as discuss other child-related issues.

A Brief Look at New Jersey Child Support Law

On January 19, 2016, Governor Christie signed S-1046/A-2721 into law. The new law becomes effective February 1, 2017, and it applies to all child support orders as follows:

“1. a. Unless otherwise provided in a court order or judgment, the obligation to pay child support shall terminate by operation of law without order by the court on the date that a child marries, dies, or enters the military service. In addition, a child support obligation shall terminate by operation of law without order by the court when a child reaches 19 years of age unless:

(1) another age for the termination of the obligation to pay child support, which shall not extend beyond the date the child reaches 23 years of age, is specified in a court order;

(2) a written request seeking the continuation of child support is submitted to the court by a custodial parent prior to the child reaching the age of 19 in accordance with subsection b. of this section; or

(3) the child receiving support is in an out-of-home placement through the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families.”

If you have a current child support order and need to know how the new law will apply to your case, or if you have a child who is approaching 19 years of age, contact one of our child support attorneys as soon as possible for more information. 

Child Support Enforcement

If you owe child support and you lose your job, you may not be able to continue to pay the same amount while looking for work.  Likewise, if you have children in your care and your former spouse fails to pay the required amount of support, you may not be able to provide for the children’s living expenses. 

In either event, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable child support lawyer as soon as there is a child support concern, rather than waiting for a substantial arrearage to accrue.   

The experienced child support lawyers at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. are familiar with all of the emotional and financial issues surrounding a child support order.  Call our attorneys today to discuss any of your child support or other child-related concerns.

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