How is Child Support Calculated?
Calculating Child Support
Learn about the key factors which determine child support rulings and help parents secure fair and accurate child support agreements
In New Jersey, child support awards are largely determined by New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines attempt to create a roughly uniform method for calculating child support any time the parents of a child divorce, or are unmarried and live in separate households.
So while these guidelines do go a long way towards determining any kind of child support award, for example during a divorce, child support modification hearing, or child support termination or continuation matter, it is still important to retain experienced legal counsel any time you are deciding a child support award for your child. Arguments can be made by either parent for what exactly their financial situation is and how that would impact what they might be expected to pay or receive in terms of child support, as well as arguments in regards to what exactly the needs of your child or children are and whether or not those needs fall under child support obligations.
At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys see every case we take as a new opportunity to help our clients build a solid foundation for their family’s future. We take pride in being accessible and responsive to the inquiries of our clients and work hard to mitigate the financial, emotional, and practical stresses of divorce, family law, and child support disputes for our clients in Morris County communities including Morristown, Madison, Denville, Randolph, Dover, Rockaway, East Hanover, and all of Northern New Jersey.
Call our Morristown office today at (973) 447-3943 to discuss your unique needs and concerns in a strategic planning session with a member of our legal team today.
Custody and Child Support Lawyers
One of the most important factors that go into any child support determination is that of the existing child custody and visitation agreement between the parents.
Typically the custodial parent, or parent of primary residence, will be the one to receive child support payments. While there are other factors to consider (see the sections below), generally the more time that the children spend with this parent of primary residence, the more that the other parent will be expected to pay in terms of child support.
Income and Child Support
The second factor which factors heavily into any child support determination is that of the income of both parents.
For example, if both parents earn roughly the same annual income, and share roughly the same amount of parenting time, it may be the case that child support is not awarded at all. On the other hand, if one parent earns significantly more than the other and only spends two overnights with the child a week, they will most likely be expected much more support than if that same parent enjoyed roughly equal parenting time.
Of course, family courts will consider more than just each parent’s salary when weighing the financial situation of each parent and how they might affect a child support agreement. Other considerations include:
- Profits from an owned business or business investment
- Royalties, bonuses, interest on investments, capital gains
- Annuities or other gains collected from a trust
- Property income including collected rent
- Distributions from social security, deferred compensation, lawsuits, retirement plans, and more
- Child support payments obligations for children from another marriage or relationship (these payments will be deducted from eligible gross income)
- Much more. Navigate to the New Jersey Child Support website for even more information
How is Child Support Calculated in New Jersey, and Are There Exceptions?
For a quick glance at what you could potentially expect to pay in child support, there is a quick calculation tool provided by the state of New Jersey. It is important to note that this figure will almost certainly change after considering the specifics of your family’s unique circumstances. In general terms, the following will be used to calculate the child support which you owe or to which you are entitled:
- Number of children involved in your agreement
- Child custody arrangement between co-parents
- Gross income of each co-parent
- Marital status of each co-parent
- Age of each child involved
- Any current child support payments as part of a separate agreement
Further considerations that may cause a shift in your child support agreement can involve special needs of children such as expensive medical treatments, schooling, and more. For families with seven (7) or more children, these calculations may be altered as well. At the end of the day, child support agreements are put in place for the best interests of the child. Judges, mediators, and our Morris County child support attorneys will all work with you to reach that goal.
Contact our Child Support Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our experienced and qualified child support attorneys believe in understanding the calculations set forth by the state of New Jersey without letting them get in the way of amicable and reasonable discussion. Mediations, arbitrations, or other out of court agreements which can be hand-tailored may lead to the best results for our clients across Morris County communities including Madison, Dover, Randolph, Morristown, Denville, Morris Township, Rockaway, East Hanover, and across Northern New Jersey. We will work to deliver dynamic and personalized legal solutions to come to the child support agreement which works best for you and your co-parent.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding child support agreements, child support calculations, or any other family law matters, please contact us online or call our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 447-3943 today for a strategic planning session.