What factors determine child support payments in New Jersey?

If you are trying to establish a case for child support in New Jersey, you should be familiar with the guidelines the state uses to determine payments. There are several factors that the courts will take into account to determine what one parent may have to pay to another parent.

According to the child support guidelines, the following are the most often used determinants:

  • How many children are involved and how old they are
  • How much gross income each parent makes every week
  • How much time the children spend with each parent
  • Work-related childcare and health insurance expenses

The law assumes that both parents are financially responsible for the children’s wellbeing. In order to paint the most accurate financial picture, parents should find their true gross income. This is done through adding all sources of income, including bonuses or unemployment, and then subtracting taxes, mandatory dues to unions or mandatory retirement contributions.

In order to determine how much money is needed to support the children, the state has developed several worksheets that match the combined net weekly income and the number of children. There is a sole parenting worksheet and a shared parenting worksheet. The shared parenting worksheet is ideal for families in which the children spend more than two overnights with each parent every week.

An important part of these guidelines is that they give courts the flexibility to deviate from the suggested payment amounts. Therefore, parents who are trying to determine support can present extenuating circumstances that would require going outside the guidelines.

Once the payment amount is determined, it can only be modified if there is a considerable change in circumstances. While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

Date Published: February 7, 2017

Written by: Cooper Levenson, P.A.

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