When parents separate, or divorce, one of the biggest concerns is how to provide for their children’s financial needs. In New Jersey, child support is a legal obligation that both parents have to ensure that their children are provided for financially. This blog post will discuss how child the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines work.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a court-ordered payment made by one parent to the other parent to help cover the costs of raising their children. The amount of child support is determined by a formula that takes into account various factors, including the number of children, the income of both parents and the parenting time arrangement.
How is Child Support Calculated in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, child support is calculated using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which are based on the Income Shares Model. This model considers both parents’ income and the number of children they have together. Other factors that may be considered when determining child support include medical expenses, child care costs, and educational expenses.
To calculate child support in New Jersey, the court first determines each parent’s gross income. This includes all sources of income, such as salary, wages, bonuses, commissions, and self-employment income. The court then subtracts certain deductions, such as taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, and union dues, to arrive at each parent’s net income.
Once the net income of both parents is determined, the court uses a formula to calculate the basic child support obligation. This formula takes into account the number of children and the combined net income of both parents. The basic child support obligation is then divided between the parents in proportion to their net incomes.
In addition to the basic child support obligation, the court may also order additional payments for things like child care, medical expenses, and education costs. These additional payments are added to the basic child support obligation to arrive at the total child support amount.
How is Child Support Enforced in New Jersey?
Child support in New Jersey is enforced by the Probation Division of the Superior Court. Once a child support order is entered, the paying parent is required to make payments to the Probation Division, which then distributes the payments to the receiving parent.
If the paying parent fails to make the required payments, the Probation Division may take enforcement actions, such as wage garnishment, seizure of bank accounts or tax refunds, and suspension of driver’s license or professional licenses. In extreme cases, the paying parent may be subject to contempt of court charges and face fines or even imprisonment.
Child support is a critical aspect of ensuring that children’s financial needs are met after their parents separate or divorce. While child support calculations may seem complicated, the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines provide a straightforward formula that takes into account the incomes of both parents and the needs of the children. If you are facing child support issues, it’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and help you ensure that your children’s financial needs are met.
Drew Molotsky is a partner and shareholder at Adinolfi, Roberto, Burick & Molotsky, PA in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Drew has decades of experience representing clients as they work through their unique family law matters. If you are faced with paying child support or needing to receive it, call our office for a confidential consultation today. Consultations can be done in person, over the phone or via zoom.
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