Wondering how child support is calculated in New Jersey? There is no simple answer, as there are many considerations that go into a decision. Since each case and each set of circumstances is different, it is important to involve an attorney who can help you figure out how much support is necessary in a particular case.
New Jersey family courts consider several factors when making a child custody decision, including:
- The number of children that need support
- The child's needs
- The income of the non-custodial parent (actual or imputed)
- Costs of living for the custodial parent
- The standard of living that the child would have had if the parents had not divorced
Calculating Income for Child Support
Income calculations will be based on gross income, which is comprised of wages, insurance, government distributions, disability, worker's comp, earnings from investments, gambling winnings, inheritances, and any other income that is not a welfare benefit. Even if the non-custodial parent does not currently work, the calculation may be based on capability to work, though the state has tried to make sure that child support payments do not leave a parent underprivileged. Parents who purposely choose underemployment or unemployment as a way to avoid child support payments may have income imputed to them and will still be responsible for paying based on their earning capacity.
If the noncustodial parent has visitation rights, then the courts may deduct a certain amount of money, depending on the amount of parenting time. If a child spends more than 28% of his or her nights at the non-custodial parent's house, then the courts will consider the case to be shared parenting.In order to ensure child support awarded in your case is accurate, appropriate for the needs of your child, and feasible for all parties involved, it is crucial you have a skilled attorney who can walk you through the process step by step.
You can estimate child support in the following ways:
- Child support can be calculated according to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines require an examination of the income of both parents and submission of either a Sole Parenting Worksheet or Shared Parenting Worksheet, and are applicable to cases where parents wish to establish or modify child support. You can use these worksheets to calculate child support and estimate what payments may look like in your case.
- In addition to using the worksheets to estimate the amount of child support a judge might order, you can also use an online calculator provided by the state’s Department of Human Services.
Estimating the amount of support that may be awarded in your case can be helpful, but it is no substitute for working with experienced lawyers who can help you better understand what to expect, how to protect your rights, and what you can do to secure a positive outcome. When additional matters are involved, including child custody, visitation, paternity, and high net worth, working with seasoned legal representation becomes even more important.
At Moskowtiz Law Group, LLC, our New Jersey family law attorneys understand the important of financial security for both you and your children, which is why we always take an individualized approach to helping clients with their unique support matters. Whether you are looking to establish, modify, or enforce a support order, our team is available to help you protect your rights all along the way.
Contact us today for more information about child support.