Understanding New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
By Peter Van Aulen, Esq.The Philosophy of the NJ Child Support Guidelines
The philosophy behind the New Jersey child support guidelines as stated in the appendix to said guidelines is as follows:
- Child support is the constant duty of both parents
- A child has a right to share the current income of both parents
- A child should not be a casualty of an out of wedlock birth or a divorce
NJ child support guidelines attempt to simulate the percentage of parental net income that is expended on children in intact families. Even though the appendix to the guidelines acknowledges that expenditures of two households that are separated or divorced are different than an intact family unit, it states that children should not be forced to live in poverty because of a family interruption and should be given the same opportunities as intact families with similar financial means.When are the NJ Child Support Guidelines Used?
In New Jersey, the child support guidelines must be used by the Courts as a rebuttable presumption to create and adjust child support orders. Therefore, a child support award based on the guidelines is assumed to be correct unless a party proves to a Court that the use of the guidelines is inappropriate.Expenses Included in the Child Support
The below expenses are included in child support. In other words, the parent who is receiving child support (payee parent) is expected to pay the following expenses from the child support that is paid to them by the paying parent (payer parent):
- Unreimbursed health care up to and including $250 per child per year
- Miscellaneous Items
The below expenses, if incurred, will be added to the basic child support obligation. Therefore, in addition to paying the basic child support according to the guidelines, the Payer parent will have to contribute to the following expenses:
- Work-related child care.
- Health insurance for the child.
- Predictable and recurring unreimbursed health care expenses in excess of $250.00 per year per child.
- Other expenses approved by the Court.
The following factors may require an adjustment (often a reduction) to the payer parent’s basic child support obligation:
- Other legal dependants: For example, if a payer parent has other children from another relationship that could cause a reduction in his or her child support obligation.
- Child support orders for other children: For example, if the payer parent has a child support order for a child in another relationship that would cause a reduction in his or her child support obligation.
- Social Security benefits paid to or for the child: A child‘s Social Security benefits greatly reduce or eliminate a payer parent’s child support obligation.
- Adjustments for overnight parenting time: the more overnight parenting time a payer parent has, the more of a reduction in their child support obligation. If the non-custodial parent has the children less than 28% of the time(less than 104 overnights), the Court uses a sole parenting worksheet to calculate a child support obligation. On the other hand, if the non custodial parent has the children over 28% of the time (more than 104 overnights), the Court uses the shared parenting worksheet which will cause a greater reduction in a payer parent’s child support obligation.
For families with combined incomes of $187,200 per year the Court will apply the guidelines up to $187,200 of income and then the Court may supplement the guideline award with a discretionary amount to make sure the children are being supported in accordance with the parties’ financial circumstances. If you have any questions concerning the NJ child support guidelines, please contact Peter Van Aulen today at 201-845-7400.
- A Court in New Jersey Allows Child Support to be Retroactive to Date of Complaint
- Basics of the Child Support Calculator
- Calculating Child Support for High and Low Income Families in New Jersey
- Calculating Child Support for Multiple Families in New Jersey
- Calculating New Jersey Child Support
- Can a Non-Custodial Parent be Required to Contribute to Cost of a Child's Car Insurance in New Jersey?
- Child Support and Social Security in NJ
- Child Support Obligations of Stepparents and Other Third Parties in New Jersey
- College Costs After Divorce and Child Support in NJ
- Cost of Living Adjustments to Child Support in New Jersey
- Emancipation of a Child in New Jersey
- Enforcement of New Jersey Child Support Orders
- How do I Modify Child Support in NJ?
- Imputing Income in Child Support Cases
- NJ Child Support Emancipation Law
- NJ Child Support Law: Child's Auto Insurance Premium as Child Support Add-On
- Parents' Contribution to College Costs in New Jersey
- Private School Tuition and Divorce in NJ
- Registering an Out-of-State Support Order in New Jersey
- FAQs: New Jersey Child Support
- Understanding NJ Child Support Guidelines for College Students
- Child Support Enforcement: Consequences for Failure to Pay, Options to Reduce Payments