Though no two cases are exactly alike, family law courts do not simply throw a dart at a dartboard when determining where to set child support. New Jersey has Child Support Guidelines that provide a framework within which the court operates when deciding how much money the children should receive from the noncustodial parent.
The Guidelines take several real-life factors into account. For example, the child’s age, his or her standard of living, and whether he or she has any special health, emotional or educational needs.
No matter how much the child is entitled to, the Guidelines believe in three basic tenets. They are:
1. Both parents are responsible for child support
2. Children have the right to share in the income of both their parents
3. Children should not have to suffer economic effects of not living with both parents.
Judges are also instructed to keep in mind that living in a large household reduced the per-person costs; that as household expenditures rise, so does the spending on children; and that there is no absolute cost of raising a child.
Most parents want the best for their children, even after divorce, or if they never married their kid’s other parent. But they may have limited income, or other financial obligations that limit their ability to pay child support. On the other hand, the custodial parent may struggle to make ends meet without a proper amount of financial support from the other parent. Besides which, both parents should take financial responsibility for their children.