New Jersey Child Support Lawyers
Attorneys Helping Families with Child Support
Child support is often a point of contention among parents in New Jersey. It is not uncommon to hear the claims of a parent that feels child support payments are too high, or another parent that feels they are too low. Perhaps you’re unsure if your current child support agreement can be altered, or you’d like advice on enforcing your support. Castronovo & McKinney’s experienced child support lawyers can help answer your questions and work to resolve this conflict.
Child support is often part of a divorce settlement, annulment, or separation. As a result, one parent is obligated to pay to support his or her child. It is important to point out that child support is not gender biased. A mother or a father can be required to pay child support, depending on the child’s living situation. Typically support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. However, in cases involving joint custody, the parent earning the higher income may have to pay support
Child Support in N.J.
Another important detail about child support in New Jersey is that it is a child’s right. As such, parents cannot waive child support nor can they neglect to pay it. Every parent is required to financially support his or her children, to see that they are cared for. This applies to all parents in New Jersey, whether married or not.
Not Just About the Money
New Jersey parents have a responsibility to their children. They are required to provide food and water, a safe home and clothes to wear day-to-day. Of course not every child gets the necessary attention they require but they have the right to help. We have experience with helping families with family law issues including child support.
Child Support Obligations
Divorce affects your finances in many ways through division of property, alimony, tax implications, and maintaining a separate household. If you have children, child support is another pertinent issue. And this obligation can have a prolonged impact.
In New Jersey, your child support obligation lasts until your child reaches the age of 18 and is no longer attending school, at a minimum. One exception is emancipation. Additionally, if he pursues higher education and you have the financial capabilities, you are likely to be responsible for college expenses as well.
How Child Support is Determined
Both you and your spouse have a legal obligation to financially support your child. The custodial parent provides this support by meeting your child’s needs in the household. The non-custodial parent does this by paying child support to the parent with custody. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines provide detailed rules for determining this amount. In addition to child care costs, your child support award must incorporate the expense of health insurance.
In New Jersey, the Income Shares model is implemented to determine your child support obligation. This means that the combined net income of you and your spouse is used in the calculation. The court considers several factors to set a child support amount: the needs of your child; the standard of living and economic circumstances of you and your spouse; assets and sources of income for both parents; the age and health of your child, you and your spouse; and various other criteria that the court considers relevant.
Child Support Calculations
New Jersey courts typically use either the Sole Parenting Worksheet or the Shared Parenting Worksheet to determine the combined income available for child support. It’s necessary for you both to complete one of these forms to establish your child support obligation. There are also several child support calculators available online, but it’s important to note that determining child support is a complicated process and the courts use various criteria to make this judgment.
Divorce with children is a complex and emotional process. The guidance of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney is invaluable when facing this overwhelming, life-changing event. Castronovo & McKinney has been helping families in this situation for more than a decade. Contact us for a confidential consultation.
Why Choose Us?
When it comes to child support, determining an appropriate child support figure can be challenging. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines use a detailed method for calculating this number using information such as pensions, investment income, previous alimony, and more. Let the child support lawyers at Castronovo & McKinney work through the details to figure out an accurate child support figure for you, to modify an existing child support agreement, or to make child support a part of your divorce settlement.