Seven Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Child Support
People with children heading into New Jersey marriage dissolution proceedings typically have a basic understanding of the divorce process. For example, if they have children, a couple considering divorce generally are aware of the fact the child custody, parenting time, and child support will be issues in the proceedings. With that duly noted, many parents understandably have questions about matters like child support. In fact, there are seven more commonplace questions about New Jersey child support.
The foundational legal purpose of child support in a New Jersey marriage dissolution proceeding is to ensure that the best interests of a child are financially secured following the end of a marriage. A child should not have to have his or her life upended financially as a consequence of parents making the determination that they can no longer remain married.
Child support payments in New Jersey are designed to cover an array of basic expenses associated with a child or children. The basic expenses covered by child support in the Garden State include:
- Medical care and insurance
The specific facts and circumstances of a divorce case can dictate that other types of expenses be considered in the process of determining a child support obligation. This may include, but are not limited to:
- Extraordinary medical, dental, or other types of healthcare obligations
- Extraordinary educational expenses
- Post-secondary education costs
New Jersey is like all other states in the country and utilizes what are known as child support guidelines and a companion table in the computation of a child support obligation in a divorce case. The guidelines and table provide a level of standardization for child support in divorce cases. There can be some deviations from the computations that are realized through the application of the guidelines and table. However, good cause for such a deviation must be demonstrated to the court.
Gross income is that earned by a person before taxes and other deductions are taken into consideration. Net income is what remains after these deductions. The starting point for computing child support in New Jersey is the gross income of the parents.
The child support guidelines are always the standard utilized for determining child support in a New Jersey marriage dissolution proceeding. As discussed a moment ago, there are occasions in which a child support obligation is based upon a dollar amount derived from some sort of deviation from the guidelines (for good cause and approved by the court).
Parents are able to reach an agreement regarding child support in a divorce case. With that said, the agreed amount of child support must be consistent with what is set forth in the New Jersey support guidelines. If the parents deviate in any notable way from the guidelines, they will need to explain to the court why such a deviation is in the best interests of a child.
Circumstances may change that are significant enough to warrant a change in the child support obligation in a particular case. For example, a parent might experience a significant increase in his or her salary or wages which might indicate an adjustment in the support obligation is appropriate. Any change in child support must be approved by and made an order of the court.
If you have any questions pertaining to child support or are involved in a divorce proceeding or a dispute over support or any other matter, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen is here for you. You can schedule an initial consultation with a New Jersey divorce attorney at our firm by calling us at 201-845-7400.