The amount of child support is determined based on a number of factors, including but not limited to the earnings of the respective parents, the number of children involved, the number of overnights each parent has with the children, and the cost to insure the children. Under New Jersey law, both parents have the obligation to provide financial support for their child until the child is emancipated. New Jersey utilizes the income shared method in calculating child support. The ultimate child support award is calculated utilizing both parents' respective incomes. The courts typically order whatever figure is calculated when using the child support guidelines.
There are 2 different types of child support guidelines worksheets in New Jersey
The amount of child support in NJ that the custodial parent is entitled to receive is calculated by utilizing child support guideline worksheets. There are two different worksheets that the courts utilize in calculating child support. There is what is called the sole parenting worksheet and the shared parenting worksheet. The worksheet that will be utilized is dependent on the number of overnights each parent has with the child. A shared worksheet is utilized when the non-custodial parent has the child the equivalent of two overnights per week over the course of a year. The sole worksheet is utilized when the non-custodial parent has the child less than two overnights per week. The sole parenting worksheet yields a higher amount of child support for the custodial parent as that parent has the child a larger percentage of the time available. The shared parenting worksheet is utilized when the child spends at least 28%, and up to 50%, of their nights with the non-custodial parent throughout the year.
Pursuant to the child support guidelines, 38% of child support is for fixed costs such as housing, 25% of the amount is for controlled costs like clothing and 37% for variable costs such as transportation and food.
How is the amount of child support changed if there are changes in custody or income levels?
Any type of changes in either custody or income levels can have a significant impact on either the amount of child support that you are receiving or paying. The calculation of child support is a fact specific type of analysis. The amount of time one parent spends with the child and the income levels of the parents are vital elements of the child support calculation. The Non-Custodial parent is the parent who is paying child support. The amount of time the Non-Custodial parent has the child is reflected on the child support guideline worksheets that are utilized in calculating child support. The more time the Non-Custodial parent has with the child, the lower the child support calculated will be. The amount of child support that will be paid is typically memorialized in a child support order. The child support order is signed off on by the Judge and the Judge will often times require that the child support worksheet utilized in calculating the child support be submitted to the court for future reference. New Jersey Child Support Laws are well defined and require that child support be calculated appropriately. Child support payments are either processed through the appropriate probation department or are paid directly to the custodial parent. Basic Child Support covers a majority of the child's needs, and the Non-Custodial parent needs to have a thorough understanding as to what is covered by the child support payments.
How can you get help if you can't afford to pay child support or if the other parent isn't paying what they are supposed to be paying?
If you are faced with a situation wherein child support is not being paid, you will need to file an application with the court seeking to compel the payment of child support. Child support payments may be garnished right out of the payor's paycheck. New Jersey Child Support Laws are designed to help individuals who are owed money. Child support arrearages may be captured by intercepting a tax return or some other type of enforcement mechanism. In the event you have outstanding child support owed to you by the Non-Custodial parent, you should contact an experienced New Jersey child support attorney to assist you. In the event you cannot pay your court ordered child support you may need to file an application with the court wherein you seek to reduce the amount you are required to pay under the existing child support order. Such applications can be successful if you are able to demonstrate that your financial circumstances have changed since the entry of the original child support order. If you able to demonstrate a change in circumstances your child support payment may be reduced.
What happens if you stop paying child support or move out of state without telling the other parent?
In the event you were to stop paying child support and you are not complying with a child support order you could end up in a bad situation. In all likelihood, your failure to pay could land you in trouble. Moving out of state will not relieve you of your court ordered obligations. Instead of running from the problems that you face concerning child support you would be better served by addressing your child support payments in the appropriate forum. The proper way to address your child support situation is to comply with New Jersey's child support laws. The law will provide you with a mechanism to readjust your child support obligations as the non-custodial parent when the circumstances so warrant. To file an application to lower your child support you will need to provide to the court updated child support worksheets that accurately reflect your current income as well as your current parenting time with the child. Courts take child support payments very seriously, so it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced NJ child support lawyer prior to making any determinations concerning how to best address your particular set of circumstances regarding your child support obligations.
Are there tax implications for paying or receiving child support in New Jersey?
There are no tax implications associated with either paying or receiving child support in New Jersey. Child support does not count as income when it is received. Parents who pay for expenses such as childcare, healthcare, and college costs may be in a position to deduct these types of expenses on their tax returns.
Can grandparents get child support payments from their children's parents if they are raising their grandchildren full-time?
Depending on the circumstances, a grandparent may be entitled to receive child support for a grandchild he or she is raising. Grandparents often times obtain custody of their grandchildren when the parents of the children are unable to care for them. This is accomplished by the grandparent obtaining temporary or permanent custody of the child which is known as legal guardianship.