You shouldn’t need to argue for child support in New Jersey.
Divorce is a struggle. You must disentangle your emotions, lifestyle, finances, and all the myriad aspects of union from those of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. It’s a trying process, and it becomes all the more complicated when children are involved.
In New Jersey, both parents are obligated to support their children after the marriage ends. Child support typically takes the form of payments from the non-custodial parent to the primary caregiver. However, the specific nature of the child support arrangements is determined by the court, or by a marital settlement agreement.
A New Jersey court will refer to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount and frequency of child support payments. The Guidelines will account for several factors, including:
- The ages and needs of the children
- The assets, incomes, or earning ability of the parents and children
- The ages and health of the parents
- The amount of time spent by the children with each parent, particularly overnights
- An existing alimony arrangement
- Any other factors the court deems relevant
Do child support payments end when the child turns 18?
Not necessarily. It’s often assumed that once the child reaches the age of majority, child support payments will end. However, unless the court order or marital settlement arrangement contains provisions specifying the end of child support at a certain age, a court may order the obligor to continue making payments for children still in high school, attending college, or that are disabled.
Furthermore, a new law (S-1046/A-2721) signed by Governor Christie on January 19, 2016 establishes 19 as the age when child support ends, or 23 if the dependents fit the criteria listed above. This law takes effect on February 1, 2017. Bear in mind that although a child may pass the age when future payments end, any child support payments in arrears are still required to be repaid.
How can I determine my child support payments?
You can get a quick approximation using an application called Child Support QuickCalc provided on The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ website. It can be found here: quickguide.njchildsupport.org.
Of course, if you want a more precise determination of your payments, you’ll want to consult an experienced family law attorney. You should also consult an attorney if if you are in the midst of a divorce and will determine a child support arrangement. It’s better to hire a lawyer now than to allow complications to arise later. If you are in New Jersey, and need a family law attorney with over twenty years’ litigation experience, contact David P Schroth at 609-882-0041. He’ll ensure your children get the support they need.