Monmouth County Child Support Lawyer
When one parent has sole or primary custody of a child, the other parent may be required to pay child support. These payments ensure parents share responsibility for the child’s financial needs. The judge will order the party to make regular child support payments until the child is emancipated. Emancipation occurs when a child has escaped the sphere of influence of their parents. A court will often consider a child to be emancipated when they turn 18 and begin working full time or graduating from college. However, whether a child is to be deemed emancipated is fact-sensitive because every family is different.
While some child support cases must go through family court, parents can also draft an agreement through compromise or mediation. A family law attorney at Moskowitz Law Group can explain the process of requesting child support and your options for creating an agreement that works for you. Call a seasoned Monmouth County child support lawyer for support.
Reaching a Child Support Agreement
Parents may negotiate with the assistance of their lawyers or meet with a neutral third-party mediator in a structured environment to settle disputes and reach agreements regarding child support. During mediation sessions, parents can discuss their incomes and the child’s needs, including medical care, special needs, and education, to decide on arrangements for financial support.
When parents cannot reach an agreement during mediation agreements, they must go to court. A judge will listen to both sides’ arguments and establish a court order outlining the child support payments and other financial support. A determined legal professional can guide parents in Monmouth County through the process of creating a child support agreement. These services include helping parents understand their options, listening to their preferences, and advocating on their behalf in court proceedings.
Modifying Child Support Agreements
There are times when an existing child support order must be modified. A non-custodial parent may lose their job and make a lower salary despite efforts to find similar paying employment. A child may develop a medical condition that requires additional expenses. A child’s needs may change in other ways. To modify the terms of an agreement, a parent must prove there has been a substantial and permanent change in circumstances and request approval from the court or negotiate an agreement with the other parent.
It is important to begin the process of modifying a child support agreement sooner rather than later. When a non-custodial parent gets behind or fails to comply with child support orders, they may face adverse consequences. Parents who miss child support payments will become responsible for providing back payments until the balance is paid in full. Additionally, the law provides that child support can only be retroactively reduced as of the date the parent files a request to modify it. Thus, any outstanding payments cannot be retroactively reduced earlier than that date. A Monmouth County legal professional can answer questions about the process of modifying a child support agreement or order and advocate for these changes in court or in negotiating an agreement.
Calculating Child Support Payments
The court will determine which parent will pay child support based on custody orders and the amount of time the children spend with each parent. By default, child support is calculated using a formula called the Child Support Guidelines. The formula considers many factors, including the parents’ incomes and how much time the child spends with each parent. There are certain cases, including high income cases, where the Child Support Guidelines do not apply. If that is the case, under the New Jersey Statutes Annotated § 2A:34-23(a), the family judge calculates child support payments based on:
- Needs of the child
- Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent
- All sources of income and assets of each parent
- Earning ability of each parent
- Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education
- Age and health of the child and each parent
- Income, assets and earning ability of the child, if any
- Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant
A child support attorney in Monmouth County can answer questions about these factors and help calculate potential payments in a specific case.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Monmouth County Child Support Attorney
Whether you are paying or seeking child support payments, understanding your legal rights is crucial. The family court process to determine custody and child support agreements is complex, and emotions can run high.
A skilled Monmouth County child support lawyer can help you work toward a fair outcome while handling the paperwork and procedural requirements. Call Moskowitz Law Group today to schedule a consultation and have a compassionate family law attorney review your case.