Morris County Child Support Lawyer
For parents, children are the most important part of life. New Jersey has codified this sentiment into law, proclaiming in its statutes that caring for a child is the equal responsibility of both parents. When couples go through a divorce, child support is potentially a necessary stipulation of the divorce agreement.
If you are divorcing from your spouse and have children, contact a Morris County child support lawyer who could work to ensure you bring before the court a strong case for a child support plan that matches your child’s needs. Call a compassionate family law attorney to build your case.
Important Aspects of Child Support Law
The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines state very clearly that any child support plan should be dictated by three guiding ideas. Since all children are typically the responsibility of both parents, supporting a child should not fall onto the shoulders of only one parent when two spouses divorce.
Children have a claim on the income that their parents are currently making. This means that a child should not be locked out of benefiting from a parent’s increase in income solely because their parents divorced.
Divorce should not leave children as “economic victims.” The decision of parents to divorce should not result in their child or children suffering financially. A child support attorney in Morris County could help parents understand their legal family maintenance laws.
Factors That Influence Child Support
When coming up with a child support plan, courts in Morris County follow the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which describe the various factors to consider. These could include the age of the children involved, the incomes of each spouse, each spouse’s potential to earn income, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, any health concerns for the child, and any relevant expenses.
This last category—expenses—could be separated into three distinct subsets. Fixed expenses refer to items like rent and utilities that are considered cost-of-living expenses. Controlled expenses are costs for items like clothing that would be the responsibility of the child’s primary caregiver to manage.
Variable expenses are more discretionary costs like those for food, travel arrangements, and payments for extracurricular activities. Since these will primarily fall on the shoulders of the primary caregiver, courts typically try to find a child support plan that will split the financial burden equitably.
Modifying an Existing Child Support Plan
While the aforementioned factors are considered when adopting a child support plan, life is often full of changes. When serious lifestyle changes happen, it may become necessary to alter a child support plan to better reflect each parent’s economic realities.
Circumstances that could serve as grounds for a modification hearing include a change in income for the paying parent, a significant increase in the primary caregiver’s living expenses, a serious injury to either parent or the child, an increase in the receiving parent’s income, or a change in relevant tax law. The primary caregiver moving in with a new partner may also result in the court modifying the child support plan, as could the loss of the primary caregiver’s home. Individuals could consult a Morris County attorney if they have questions regarding child support plans.
Contacting a Morris County Child Support Attorney
If you currently are going through a divorce or are seeking a modification to an existing child support plan, contacting a Morris County child support lawyer may increase your odds at a favorable outcome. An experienced child support attorney could work to protect your rights and the best interests of your children while arguing for a fair and reasonable child support plan. Call today and set up a consultation.