Child Support Lawyers in Bergen County, NJ
How NJ Child Support Payments are Calculated
Child support is among the most hotly debated issues facing both married and unmarried parents, giving rise to arguments from both those providing child support and those receiving it. However, New Jersey views the financial support of a child as the mutual responsibility of both parents, regardless of their marital status. In fact, lawmakers have outlined a series of strict guidelines and calculations which are intended to ensure the accuracy and fairness of these determinations. Unfortunately, without extensive knowledge of the system’s complexities, you may run the risk of receiving inadequate support or financing activities that you do not feel are in your child’s best interests. In other cases, a substantial change in circumstance may provide grounds for a child support modification, or one parent’s failure to fulfill his or her child support responsibility may require rectification through child support enforcement. Regardless of the specific circumstances, an experienced New Jersey child support attorney can serve as an integral asset to you and your child, ensuring that your child is supported and positioned for the best chance at a successful future.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our firm brings a combined 75 years of experience in New Jersey family law to each case. Led by our three exceptional partners, each of whom has been recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney, we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge, which we leverage daily to best serve our clients and their families. With a practice dedicated solely to family law, we are equipped to handle the most complex and contentious matters, whether they involve child custody, child support, divorce, paternity, or domestic violence. It is our passion to provide unparalleled legal representation while attending to the needs of each client as an individual with unique needs and priorities. To discuss your situation with one of our talented family lawyers today, simply contact our Bergen County office at 201-397-1750. Consultations are always free of charge.
Determining Child Support
New Jersey employs a system known as the “Income Shares Model,” to determine appropriate child support in cases involving both married and unmarried parents. The governing principles of this system are as follows:
(1) Child support is a continuous duty of both parents
(2) Children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents; and
(3) Children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth.
New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines
The formula used to arrive at these determinations, referred to as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, is contained in Court Rule 5:6A and Appendix IX, and is meant to account for the combined net income of both parents, the respective incomes of each parent minus allowable deductions, the child custody arrangement, the age of the child, as well as the health care, childcare, and other needs of the child. The child support formula includes three types of expenses, outlined as follows:
- Fixed expenses: costs that remain relatively consistent, including those for housing, utilities, and household items.
- Controlled expenses: costs associated with the child’s daily life, including clothing, personal care, and certain recreation activities.
- Variable expenses: costs incurred by the parent who is currently caring for the child, including food, transportation, and entertainment.
The aforementioned expenses, as well as factors such as taxes, the number of children from previous relationships, and other deductions, will also be used to make child support determinations and adjustments.
New Jersey Child Support and Child Custody Arrangements
As stated above, the child custody configuration will first and foremost significantly influence child support calculations by determining the appropriate worksheet that will be used to arrive at the final amount. Specifically, the Sole Parenting Worksheet applies in cases wherein the child spends two or fewer overnights per week with one parent. In these cases, controlled and fixed expenses typically apply to one parent, while variable expenses apply to the noncustodial parent during allocated parenting time. On the other hand, the Shared Parenting Worksheet applies in cases of shared or joint custody, wherein the child spends more than two overnights per week with each parent. In these cases, the fixed, controlled, and variable expenses of each parent will likely be accounted for.
Contact Our Child Support and Divorce Attorneys Today
Our team of family lawyers assists clients in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey in determining, adjusting, and enforcing child support arrangements. We concentrate solely on family law matters in order to maintain the highest level of knowledge and skill in these areas. Contact our firm to discuss your situation.