Does a Child’s Income Impact Child Support?

In a New Jersey divorce, parents have an obligation to support unemancipated children as they are not self-sufficient. Child support is based on ten statutory factors.  But the primary factor in determining child support is the parents’ respective incomes.  In some cases, however, a child may have income or assets of their own. When establishing a child support obligation for a child, New Jersey statute considers the child’s income in some circumstances.

Minor Children

The case law in New Jersey differentiates between minor children and children who have reached the age of majority. For minor children, the courts are reluctant to look to the children’s income or assets, except in limited circumstances.  This is because the law provides that it is the parents’ responsibility to support their children, not vice versa. New Jersey law indicates that the assets of a minor may not be used for his or her own support if those who are legally responsible for them have sufficient funds to fulfill their responsibility.

In fact, New Jersey Child Support Guidelines exclude income from children when calculating child support.  Further, the guidelines mandate that income from a child is only included in the child support calculation if the child is a professional or, if the child has substantial income that reduces the family’s living expenses.

As such, the law is clear that it is highly disfavored and an exception to utilize a minor child’s income in calculating their child support.

Majority Children

The answer is different, however, for children who have reached the age of majority and graduated high school.  Majority children, still entitled to support,  may not be governed by the child support guidelines.  In this situation, case law and statutory factors govern.

As such, one statutory factor which must be considered when establishing child support is: the income, assets and earning ability of the child. Therefore, in determining support for a child over the age of majority who is a high school graduate, the court may properly consider the child’s own ability to earn income and as well as their assets.

With regard to college costs and contributions, courts consider as a factor the financial resources of the child.  This includes assets owned or held in trust.  It also includes the ability of the child to earn income during the school year or on vacation.

New Jersey public policy is abundantly clear that it is the parent’s responsibility to support their children.  And, the right to support belongs to the child. However, the child’s own income and assets may be considered in certain circumstances.

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

Subscribe to Our Blog


Related Posts

Steps to Take If Quarantining Is Straining Your Marriage

How to Make Sure Your Marriage Survives the COVID-19 Quarantine Marriage is rarely easy and requires spouses to work at it to ensure that the union thrives and survives. In the U.S., the average length of a marriage is approximately eight years, which means to remain together for a longer period of time a continual…

Read More
Are the Effects of COVID a Reason to Stop Paying Child Support?
Can You Stop Paying Child Support Due to COVID-19? If you are one of the 7 million Americans with a child support agreement or order, you may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect it. The economic effects of the pandemic have made it quite tricky for some parents to be able to afford... Read More
My husband left me and I don’t know where he is. Can I get a divorce?

My husband left me and I don’t know where he is. Can I get a divorce? This blog originally appeared on NJMoneyHelp for by Karin Price Mueller on June 15, 2020. Q. My husband left me two years ago and I have no idea where he is. We own our house together and an…

Read More
COVID-19’s Impact on Family Law

I was recently quoted in a New Jersey Law Journal article about COVID-19’s impact on family law. The article is entitled, State Court Filings Drop 20% as Judges, Lawyers Cope with COVID-19 Disruptions. While the article discussed court filings statewide, my quotes focused on New Jersey’s Family Division. The article says that Family Division filings…

Read More
There is No Community Property in New Jersey

There is no community property in New Jersey. Said differently, the concept of community property is not a recognized legal concept in New Jersey divorce cases. In New Jersey, the division of property amid a divorce falls under principles of equitable distribution. All marital assets get equitably distributed in a New Jersey divorce. Among these…

Read More
Practicing Law During COVID-19

Jeralyn Lawrence, Founder and Managing Partner of Lawrence Law, took place in’s interview series – Pandemic Law Practice: How 14 Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Are Serving Clients and Keeping the Wheels of Justice Turning. Click here to hear the interview. A couple of highlights from Lawrence’s interview regarding client issues Custody and parenting…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us