Bergen County Child Support Lawyer
Dissolving a marriage that produced children can be very stressful for the entire family. The procedures and rules that set child support may seem foreign, you may have heard conflicting information about how child support is awarded in New Jersey, and you may not understand what to expect during the process. In other words, you may need a smart, dedicated lawyer to help you navigate through this difficult period.
The goal of a seasoned family attorney is always to help you resolve issues with as little financial and emotional cost as possible. To that end, a Bergen County child support lawyer could help you understand the law, represent your interests, and work to ensure the best outcome possible.
Child Support Laws in Bergen County
Courts in Bergen County set child support amounts using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which establish a mathematical formula that uses the average amount a family spends on supporting children as a guide. This calculation takes into consideration custody arrangements as well as the income of both spouses.
In Bergen County, courts are required to apply these guidelines unless there are significant reasons not to. As such, any request for a deviation from the guidelines requires an explanation of the special circumstances that justify the change. Some potential valid grounds might include a parent’s disability that prevents employment, high uninsured medical bills, or costs to care for elderly parents.
In situations where children are in foster care, disabled, or other such exceptional cases, a court may use its own discretion and decide to deviate from the guidelines. In the same vein, a judge may need to use an alternative method of calculating child support for families with more than six children, as the chart provided by the guidelines ends at that number. A local attorney can ensure a family understands their rights and options regarding child support arrangements.
Modification & Termination of Child Support Agreements
Child support may be increased or decreased after a final divorce if a substantial change in conditions occurs. A motion for modification may be filed by either party if there is a financial change that causes a disparity in living standards or economic hardship. Some common conditions that may cause such a disparity include a change in income, a dramatic increase or decrease in the cost of living, or remarriage.
Under a New Jersey state law enacted in 2016, support obligations terminate when a child reaches 19 years of age. Child support may be continued until age 23 if the child is enrolled full time in school, is disabled, if the parties agree to continue providing it, or if the court grants continued support. A Bergen County child support attorney could provide assistance with filing motions for modification and negotiating with other parties to achieve an equitable resolution.
Payment and Enforcement
Under federal law, child support payments must be deducted from the payor’s paycheck and deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account by the payor’s employer. If the paying parent is self-employed, the court will order the method for paying support.
NJKiDS (New Jersey Kids Deserve Support) is the computer system where records of child support payments are stored. In the event a paying parent neglects to pay child support, the system will automatically initiate action to enforce the order. If the non-paying parent has moved outside of the state, the New Jersey Child Support Agency can contact the employer and request wage deductions. Alternatively, the receiving parent could file a petition with the out-of-state court to request enforcement.
Get Assistance From a Bergen County Child Support Attorney
Child support law in Bergen County is lengthy and complex and can become a labyrinth of pitfalls for the uninitiated. There are many factors and special circumstances that should be considered when negotiating child support.
Call today to speak with a knowledgeable Bergen County child support lawyer. A dedicated local attorney could answer your questions, provide detailed information, and help you prepare your case.