How Is Child Support Calculated In New Jersey?
Here in New Jersey, child support is determined using a set formula. Before those calculations can be made, however, your lawyer will need to conduct a significant investigation to ensure the process is completed correctly.
At Miller & Gaudio PC, we thoroughly investigate all of the important issues in advance of a child support calculation, helping to ensure that the final decision will be both equitable and accurate.
Factors That Determine How Child Support Is Calculated
The amount of child support paid depends on a number of factors, including the parents’ respective incomes, the parenting schedule, permissible deductions from a parent’s income, and certain expenses incurred on behalf of the children, including the incremental cost of health insurance. The actual amount of the child support, however, is determined using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which provides an amount of child support that is a rebuttable presumption, with the factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(a), including, but not limited to, the needs of the child, the standard of living, the assets available to the parents and their ability to earn and/or pay, providing a basis for deviating from the guidelines amount. While child support calculations are more straightforward for W2 wage earners, once the appropriate parenting time and extraneous expenses are taken into account, failure to accurately and adequately calculate a parent’s true income for support purposes will significantly alter the resulting amount of support that is being paid, which is not fair to the children, to whom the child support actually belongs, or the parents. Therefore, having an attorney with the financial knowledge and background to accurately calculate the income to be used for support purposes is crucial.
Is Child Support Required After A Child Turns 18?
In addition to standard child support payments, upon a child’s graduation from high school and enrolling in college, parents can be required to continue to pay child support and pay a portion of the college expenses incurred by the child. It is imperative that a parent has an experienced and knowledgeable advocate to ensure that the amount of child support that one pays after graduation from high school is reasonable, as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines would no longer apply. In addition, the responsibility to contribute toward college expenses, and the amount of the contribution, is a fact-sensitive inquiry that requires the review of 12 factors, including, but not limited to, the parent’s involvement in the decision-making process, the amount of the contribution sought, the ability to pay, the background of the parties, and the financial resources and aptitude of the child.