How Child Support Is Determined in New Jersey

Who Has a Child Support Obligation? | How Is Child Support Calculated?

How Child Support Is Determined in New JerseyIf you’re involved in a New Jersey divorce and there are minor children in the home, or a child is expected, your divorce decree will typically include an order for child support. You and your ex-spouse can, of course, agree on who will pay support and how much will be paid. If you do, you can sign a Consent Support Agreement and avoid involving the court.

However, if you can’t come to an agreed-upon amount of child support, the court will do so for you. The court may consider a number of factors when calculating child support, including:

  • the needs of the child,
  • the financial resources, including income, savings, investments and other assets, of both parents,
  • the standard of living to which the child has become accustomed during the marriage,
  • the potential earning ability of each parent,
  • the income and assets of the minor child,
  • the education requirements for the child,
  • the age and health of all parties, and
  • any other relevant factor.

Under established New Jersey law, after a divorce, both parents have joint responsibility to provide for their children. Courts assume that, when the parents were married, they combined their income to meet the obligations of the entire family. Accordingly, the same principle applies after a divorce—the court bases the support order on the combined net income of both parents.

The court then calculates the amount of support from pre-established worksheets, based on how much time the minor child spends with the non-custodial parent. If the child spends all of his or her time with the custodial parent, support is calculated according to the sole parenting worksheet (Appendix IX-C). If the child spends time with the non-custodial parent, the court may, in its discretion, use the sole parenting worksheet or apply the shared parenting worksheet (Appendix IX-D).

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney

At the law office of David M. Lipshutz, we won’t take your case unless we know we can help. For a private meeting, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M.