Q) Can I get financial support for my children and myself?
A)Yes. But the court makes separate decisions when awarding support for you and your children, so it is possible that you may only be able to get support for your children, and not for yourself.
Support for your child: Generally, the court will determine how much money the other parent will pay to support your child. The court almost always utilizes set guidelines that are contained in a child support obligation worksheet to determine how much support you will receive.
If you would like to see all of the factors that go into determining support, you can visit the NJ Courts Website. The guidelines the court uses involve a very complex formula, but basically the court looks at both parents’ incomes, your child’s needs and how much time your child spends with each parent. The more time your child spends with you, the more support you will usually receive.
To get a rough idea of how much support you may receive, you can visit this website: www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/new_jersey/ . You should know that this website only estimates the amount of support you may receive. The actual amount of support you receive depends on how much the judge actually decides to give you.
You can also read more information about child support at http://www.njchildsupport.org.
Support for you: This is also referred to as alimony. If you are getting separated or divorced, a court can award you temporary or permanent alimony. In deciding whether to award you alimony, a judge will look at statutorily mandated factors. A few of the factors a judge is required to consider are:
- Your need for payment/ the other parties’ ability to pay
- The duration of your marriage
- The age, physical and emotional health of you and the other party
- The standard of living you enjoyed in your marriage and how likely it is that you will be able to maintain a similar standard of living
- How much both parties can earn for a living, and how much education you both have
A judge cannot give you alimony if you were not married to the other parent or if your divorce has already been finalized.