Divorce in New Jersey and NJ Child Support
My name is Santo V. Artusa, Jr., and I am a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Attorney in Jersey City, NJ. 75% of my practice is devoted to divorce and family law litigation in New Jersey. We are going to go over factors for child support guidelines and cases that fall outside the guidelines because of high incomes ($187,200 per year). We will also focus on the heavily contested issue of alimony in another blog and make some comments in this one. Every case with a child will lead to support but every case does not have to deal or yield an alimony award to either spouse (Alimony is Not Automatic Whereas C/S Is). Alimony is a legal issue that can be argued both ways as to if it should be awarded, if so, how much, and then for how long?
Key Factors for Child Support Calculations in New Jersey
- Total Income of Both Parties or Potential (Imputed Incomes)
- Number of Children (Unemancipated)
- Other Dependent Deductions
- Alimony Payments (If Any)--Alimony Payments Would be Used to Calculate Income for the Child Support Guidelines.
- Health Care Costs for the Child
- Work Related Day Care
- Number of Overnights with Each Parent (Parenting Time Schedule)
Shared Vs. Sole Parenting Worksheet
In cases where the non-custodial parent has the children for 104 overnights or more per year, the shared parenting worksheet should be used to calculate the weekly c/s number. If it is less than 104 than a sole parenting worksheet should be utilized. The thinking behind the different worksheets is that if a parent were to have consistent weekly overnights, that the non-custodial parent will also have ongoing hard costs with regard to caring for the children. These expenses are factored into the shared parenting worksheet and normally reduces the weekly child support amount payable to the custodial parent.
How Is C/S Paid in New Jersey?
C/S can be paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. It can be paid directly, can be paid to the court or it can be garnished from the payors employment check. It is best to use the court system to collect the support amount so that you can avoid keeping track and asking for the payment each week. Paying child support is important and neither party should have to talk about it directly, it is easier to be handled through the New Jersey Child Support Probation Unit for the County your case is in.
Child Support for High Income Earners in NJ Households?
For homes that have a combined income of $187,200 or more (high income cases), the court can order an amount above the number yielded by the calculation as it was not meant to be used for those with higher incomes. The parties or the court will try to determine the amount of support that child would have if the parents remained an intact family. So a high earner will not be happy that the his or her income falls outside of the guidelines but they will still be used up until that income point. This is when experienced lawyers in family law and divorce can help you so that neither party is being taken advantage of.
How Soon Will I Have to Pay Child Support or When Can I Ask for It?
You can ask for it when you file the divorce complaint or through a motion during the divorce process. The sooner you file, the faster you will obtain payments.
As a divorce attorney in NJ, I am used to fighting over child support and in many cases alimony as well. They are both very important legal issues to fight over. If you seek a law firm focused on matrimonial related litigation in New Jersey, contact us on (201) 228-9815.