Blog

Child Support Guidelines in New Jersey

 

In New Jersey, child support is an issue in cases including children.  The tool used to calculate the child support awards are Child Support Guidelines.  The Guidelines must be used as a rebuttable presumption to establish and modify all child support orders. A rebuttable presumption means that an award pursuant to a guidelines calculation is assumed to be the correct amount of child support.   The exception is when a party proves to the court that circumstances exist that make the calculation inappropriate in a particular case. A court can disregard or adjust a guideline based award if good cause is shown.

Practically speaking, however, most judges use the Child Support Guidelines in establishing or modifying child support.

The main premise of the Child Support Guidelines is that child support is a continuous duty of both parents.  Both parents must share their current income with their children.  As such, child support is based on both parents combined net income.  The Guidelines provide for a weekly sum due for child support taking into consideration the parties income and the number of children involved.

Items included in a child support award

  • housing expenses (e.g., mortgage interest payments, property taxes, expenses for vacation homes, home repairs, computers, luggage.)
  • food (e.g., all food and non-alcoholic beverages purchased for home consumption or purchased away from home, tips, school meals)
  • clothing (e.g., all children’s clothing, foot ware (except special foot ware for sports), diapers, dry cleaning, laundry, watches and jewelry)
  • transportation (e.g., car payments, gas, oil, insurance, maintenance and repairs)
  • unreimbursed health expenses up to $250 per child per year
  • entertainment (e.g., admissions to sports, lessons, instructions, movie rentals, pets, video games)
  • miscellaneous items (e.g., hair care, shaving, cosmetic items).

Other items potentially added to a child support award

  • work-related child care expenses
  • predictable and recurring unreimbursed medical expenses (e.g., braces)
  • other expenses approved by the court (e.g., private school, special needs of gifted or disabled children, horseback riding lessons).

Before child support can be calculated, the parties must first have resolved alimony and parenting time for the non-custodial parent as they are relevant in a child support calculation.

Child support is based on the income of the parties. Therefore, legal issues must be analyzed to determine what income is to be utilized for each party.  Sometimes a parent is unemployed or underemployed or they may have irregular or sporadic income. Sometimes defining income can become a project itself. For W-2 wage earners, however, the Guidelines are relatively simple. In any case, though, because there are so many considerations and factors upon which child support is based, be sure to speak to an attorney who specializes in family/divorce law and/or has experience utilizing the Guidelines so they can walk you through a child support calculation and ensure the correct amount is being paid or received.

Please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com if you have questions about this post or any other family law matter.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part V

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Jeralyn Lawrence, a New Jersey Divorce and Family Lawyer.   This is Part V of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with Divorce…

Read More
Blog
Coping with the aftermath of your divorce

How to Move on After a Divorce The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale is a tool used by mental health professionals to gauge the difficulty of a life event, and divorce is second on the scale only to the death of a spouse. Divorce attorneys and other professionals warn that divorce is an extremely traumatic process for…

Read More
Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part IV

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Jeralyn Lawrence, a New Jersey Divorce and Family Law Attorney.   This is Part IV of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with…

Read More
Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part III

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Jeralyn Lawrence.  This is Part III of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with Divorce and Family Law Attorney Jeralyn Lawrence –…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Counseling: The Good and the Bad

The Good and Bad of Divorce Counseling Family court systems favor combining divorce mediation and divorce therapy as it can be an effective way to solve problems and reach agreements with minimal involvement from judges. According to recent industry surveys, most divorce attorneys, mental health professionals, and social workers who specialize in divorce agree with…

Read More
Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part II

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Divorce and Family Lawyer Jeralyn Lawrence.  This is Part II of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with Divorce and Family Law…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.