When parents decide to end their relationship or marriage, child support can often be a persistent legal issue. In cases where both parents are willing and able to share equal parenting time, the application of the New Jersey child support guidelines can become even more complex.
The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines provide a framework for calculating child support obligations based on several factors, including each parent’s income, the number of children, and the amount of parenting time each parent has. In cases where parents share equal parenting time, the calculation of child support obligations can be challenging. The guidelines themselves do not provide a specific methodology for how to address support in these circumstances.
In situations where both parents have equal parenting time, the court has the discretion to consider the income of each parent and apply the guidelines to determine each parent’s child support obligation. However, if both parents’ incomes are significantly different, the higher-earning parent may be responsible for paying child support to the lower-earning parent. The Court has the option to use “offsetting” child support worksheets or to apply a “discount” through a formula commonly accepted for such circumstances. Additionally, the court may consider other factors in equal parenting time situations, such as the child’s needs, the parent’s ability to provide for those needs, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents had stayed together.
It’s important to note that the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are only a starting point for determining child support obligations. Judges have the discretion to deviate from the guidelines if they determine that a different amount is appropriate based on the specific circumstances of the case. Equal parenting time situations can be just such a situation where deviation from the guidelines is justified.
Overall, the application of the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines in equal parenting time situations requires a thorough analysis of each situation and a nuanced approach to resolution.
Drew Molotsky is a seasoned family law attorney representing clients throughout New Jersey. As a Certified Matrimonial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court, Drew has the experience and expertise to handle your family’s unique family law issues. Contact our Mount Laurel, NJ office to schedule a confidential consultation today.
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