Supplemental Child Support for High Net Worth Parents in Morris County NJ
In a divorce or dissolution of a legal relationship involving young children, it is critical to determine child custody and the amount of child support necessary to provide for the appropriate care; which is based on the financial resources of each party.
For high net-worth couples in New Jersey dividing marital assets, complex property division, dividing retirement assets, dividing marital debt, and dividing businesses, can help determine the ability of each party to pay support, the actual needs of the children, and ensure those needs and the lifestyle they enjoyed to some degree during the marriage, are met.
At Jacobs Berger, LLC we understand just how important financial stability is to you and your children. By listening closely to all of your needs and concerns, and keeping you highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we believe we can work together to achieve the results you need in your unique legal situation.
How does Morris County Family Court Determine Child Support in High-Income Cases?
Basic NJ child support guidelines apply to parents with combined annual net incomes of up to $187,200 per year. Under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23, when income exceeds this amount, the court can award supplementary awards based on the excess income. NJ courts have the discretion to determine the appropriate child support based on various relevant factors such as predictable and recurring expenses and make adjustments based on the amount of time a child spends with each parent.
NJ Courts recognize that high-income families present unique issues. Most judges rely on both detailed financial disclosures, Case Information Statements, and a qualitative assessment of what is truly important to the child’s well-being. When parental income exceeds the guidelines, a court will award the maximum basic support amount and then add an additional discretionary amount after considering all relevant factors (i.e., daycare, private tuition, tutoring, summer camp, extracurricular activities like music and sports, medical expenses, transportation, etc).
Parents requesting additional support will need to prepare a budget showing the various relevant expenses (i.e., food clothing, shelter) related to their children’s needs and detail those items or activities the children will need to share in the standard of living of their higher-income parent. Previous rulings show that support awards among such higher earners must be reasonable in meeting the children’s needs and reflect the family’s lifestyle or financial dynamic, without overindulgence.
Courts Seek a Balance Between Support Amount & Child’s Reasonable Needs
In the appellate case of Isaacson v. Isaacson, 348 N.J. Super 560, the court determined that children are entitled to the advantages that come with a parent’s good fortune. In determining the support amount, “the needs of the children must be the centerpiece of any relevant analysis.” As detailed in our previous article, “How is Child Support Determined For People With Higher Incomes,” the court must consider the health and age of the children, as well as their income or assets, and seek a balance between the children’s lifestyle opportunities and the children’s reasonable needs. Although children are entitled to reasonable non-essential items, incidental benefits to the custodial parent are not prohibited. It is critical to note that, incidental benefits that primarily benefit the parent, and not the child, are not permitted.
Contact Our Randolph Child Support and High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers Today
The family law team of Jacobs Berger, LLC has extensive experience helping parents across Denville, Randolph, Hanover, Madison, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey to successfully reach fair and constructive child support agreements of all kinds. Whether you are in the process of creating a child support agreement or are in need of legal assistance during a child support modification proceeding, our attorneys are ready to begin working with you today.
At Jacobs Berger LLC, we see ourselves as architects of restructured family units. We organize the facts of your case and advocate effectively to protect the financial needs of yourself and your children.