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Family Law: Child Support

New Jersey Child Support Attorneys

Child Support (481)

New Jersey child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The Worksheet generates an appropriate New Jersey child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.

Courts follow the New Jersey Child Support guidelines unless both parents agree to an amount other than that calculated by the guidelines, or the courts decide the guidelines are unjust due to specific circumstances of the case.

New Jersey uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. It is easy to do this using the New Jersey Child Support Worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This model takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

Once this amount is determined it is essential to take a look at any appropriate New Jersey child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

New Jersey child support is governed by statute and court rules.  The legislature has developed a complex formula over many years to determine what the appropriate amount of support should be for each child.  Child support is calculated utilizing various factors including:

  • The number of children for which support is sought;
  • Each party’s income;
  • Payment of health insurance premiums; and
  • Payment of day care expenses, etc.

Parties should be aware that not all expenses are covered by child support.  Expenses not covered by child support include, but are not limited to, payment for private school costs and unreimbursed medical expenses.  A custodial parent may need to seek additional support from the other party for contribution toward these expenses.

Child support is a priority payment. It is important that each party understands the importance of reaching the correct calculation and of paying his/her obligation timely.  The New Jersey legislature takes payment of child support very seriously. If one is significantly behind on his/her child support payments, he/she may face incarceration.

At Helmer, Conley, & Kasselman, PA, our family law attorneys have successfully represented many clients in child support matters --  whether they need child support enforcement, a modification in their child support or termination of their child support obligation.


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