How is child support determined in New Jersey?
Parents in New Jersey have the financial duty to take care of and support their children. In New Jersey, parents are responsible for ensuring their child has clothing to wear, a safe place to live, and food to eat. Regardless of a couple’s relationship, they must provide financial support for their children. Child support in New Jersey is set out to help custodial parents with the financial needs of taking care of a child. Costs incurred by a custodial parent can range from food and clothing to healthcare and education.
In every child support case in New Jersey, there are two parents. One parent is the custodial parent and the other is the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent is the payment receiver and the non-custodial parent is the payment provider.
The custodial parent is the one who lives with the child and has the main day to day responsibility of care. The non-custodial parent has important responsibilities. However, they do not have primary custody of the child.
How is NJ Child Support Calculated?
The child’s best interests are kept in mind when a court makes a decision on child support. Child support in New Jersey decisions are ultimately based a on the needs of the child. A variety of aspects can be taken into account when a child support case is ruled on. Some aspects include the parents and the child’s life. Other factors that are considered when ruling on a child support case include:
- If the child is employed and has a steady income
- The family’s standard of living prior to the divorce
- The parents’ financial circumstances
- The child’s needs
- The age and health of both parents
- The number of children currently living in each parent’s household
- The income and earning capacity of both parents
- The education of both parents
- New Jersey courts can use other factors that are deemed important to a specific case
What does Child Support in New Jersey Cover?
Child support in New Jersey often covers a wide variety of a child’s needs. This enables the child to continue the standard of living they experienced when the parents were together as a couple. Often, divorce can leave the custodial parent questioning whether they will be able to fully support their child in the same way. Courts in New Jersey aim to make supporting a child possible and parents can rest assured that life shouldn’t be too different than it was before separating.
Non-custodial child support payments should cover the basics for a child. These basics include items such as clothing and food. It should be noted that New Jersey outlines on clothing does not include all items. Clothing items such as designer clothes and “specialized” sports footwear are not included as basics.
Child support in New Jersey also outlines additional help and activities, recreational hobbies, and events are all covered by the state’s guidelines. Sports teams and transportation costs are both included as items covered by child support payments.
Healthcare and housing also fall into the child support payment category. Payments should cover mortgage payments, home insurance and property taxes up to a certain amount of money.
What if the Non-Custodial Parent Refuses to Pay NJ Child Support
Both parents must abide by the court’s ruling for child support in New Jersey. Unfortunately, parents do not always adhere to the rulings of the court and refuse to play child support payments. The custodial parent has legal rights and options to get their ex-spouse to make the child support payments they are legally required to make.
Custodial parents should first contact the Office of Child Support Services. If the organization determines that your child support payments are two weeks past due, they will enforce the child support ruling. Contacting the OCSS does not always resolve non-payment problems. The OCSS often fails to respond quickly to late payment matters. You may need to speak with a divorce attorney to get quicker action if a non-custodial parent does not keep up their end of the child support bargain.
There are child support loopholes in New Jersey and it is good to be aware of them in case your former partner tries to utilize any of them.