Child support in New Jersey – the right to support

All parents in New Jersey, whether married or unmarried, are obligated to contribute to the support of their children. How much they can contribute is where the disagreements may arise. The important thing to remember is that child support in New Jersey is the right of the of the child, not the parents; therefore, parents may not waive New Jersey child support.

Whether you need help establishing a proper level of child support, help enforcing a preexisting child support order, or modifying an existing support award, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C. can help.

How child support is determined

Upon divorce, one parent is typically designated as the "parent of primary residential custody"; and the other parent is designated as the "parent of alternate residence." The amount of child support required to be paid by the parent of alternate residential custody is based upon the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines have established a formula which applies to parents who have a combined net income of $187,200 or less. Some of the factors which are included in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines calculation include:

  • The number of children;
  • The monthly net income of both parents;
  • The extent of parenting time enjoyed with the children; and
  • Certain expenses, such as health insurance, daycare and child support paid for children of previous marriages.

After entering the various information, the Guidelines produce a weekly child support figure which is a baseline calculation. The Court may decide to change the amount of child support based upon the financial circumstances of the parties.

For parents who have a combined net income in excess of $187,200 per year, the determination of child support requires an analysis by the Court. In those cases, there is a minimum of child support awarded, plus an additional amount of child support based upon a series of statutory factors. The additional amount of child support is left to the discretion of the Court.

New Jersey child support modifications – how a substantial change in circumstances affects child support

New Jersey child support modifications can take place any time after a temporary Court Order, Marital Settlement Agreement, or New Jersey Divorce Judgment is entered. New Jersey child support laws allow parents to request a child support modification including cost of living adjustments.

New Jersey child support is designed to meet the needs of the child which include food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education. If the child needs changes or there is a change in the parties' income, a New Jersey child support modification may be warranted. If you are the non-custodial parent, it is important that you talk to a lawyer and submit your documentation of changed circumstances. Never just stop paying child support. Not only will you jeopardize your children's well-being, you will also be in violation of a support order.

Learn how we can help you resolve your child support issues

Our family attorneys have helped parents throughout the State of New Jersey to obtain, modify, or enforce child support since 1996. To schedule a time to discuss your needs, please call The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C., at 973-532-2661 or contact us online.