Child Support Lawyers in Bergen County, NJ
What Types of Expenses Are Covered by Child Support?
When it comes to determining child support during a Bergen County divorce, or during any kind of child support modification hearing, there are relatively strict guidelines in the state of New Jersey regarding who is eligible for child support, how much is owed, and what expenses are covered. However, these regulations can be difficult to understand and put into practice, resulting in some individuals receiving inadequate support while others are paying more than they can afford. Without the legal counsel of an experienced family attorney, you and your family may be left in the dark during, and after, the child support agreement process. Let our team of family and divorce attorneys protect you and your family’s financial future.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our partners are parents, too. We understand that child support is more than dollars and cents, it is about taking care of your children and providing for them in every possible way. When assisting clients through the child support negotiation process, we offer the compassionate and effective guidance every parent in need of child support deserves. Our practice is dedicated exclusively to family and divorce law, enabling us to focus on the many complex legal issues our clients face in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Ridgewood, Hackensack, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.
What Expenses Are Covered by Child Support?
- Clothing – Child support may cover children’s clothing, including school uniforms and footwear, with the exception of specialized footwear for sports. This means that the parent paying child support does not have an obligation to cover the cost of clothing outside of his or her child support payments
- Housing – Expenses including mortgage payments, property taxes, home insurance, domestic services, home equity loans, furniture, and many other items are eligible for child support. You may want to discuss the specifics with our Paramus attorneys to get a better understanding of the nuances behind this very inclusive category
- Food – Costs of all food and drink are considered, with the exception of alcohol and tobacco products
- Entertainment – League fees, membership costs, recreational events, music or vocational lessons, mobile phones, tablets, pets, hobbies, toys, video games, sports equipment, and other related expenses. Much like clothing, the inclusion of these expenses in the child support payment means that the supporting parent has no obligation to contribute additional funds to entertainment and extra-curricular activities
- Transportation – Car payments, lease payments, gas, auto insurance, car maintenance, public transportation, tolls, and license and registration fees are all covered in New Jersey child support
- Healthcare – This varies case by case depending on the medical needs of the child, but unreimbursed healthcare up to $250 is automatically covered.
It is important to understand that all of these items are included as per state regulations. However, you and your co-parent may elect to reach an agreement independent of these regulations at any time. Through mediation, arbitration, and collaborative conflict resolution, our clients have been able to find flexible and personalized solutions to their child support disputes.
What Expenses are Excluded From Child Support Consideration?
It is more difficult to define what is not covered, as the child support guidelines have “catch-all” language which leaves some interpretation for considering additional items. These somewhat grey areas are yet another reason why having the support of our child support attorneys can be such a critical decision.
- The cost of adding a child to a health insurance policy is not covered under child support regulations. Other medical expenses beyond the $250 may be included on a case-by-case basis
- Tuition for private schools, colleges, universities, and technical schools
- Any unpredictable or non-recurring costs such as expenses due to specific events. This may include large expenses such as graduation parties, sweet sixteen birthday parties, and bar/bat mitzvahs.
Contact Our Hackensack, NJ Divorce and Family Law Firm Today
Our team of family and divorce attorneys has over 75 years of combined experience helping our clients with issues relating to child support in the local area. Many of our attorneys have been recognized as Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, a distinction held by only 2 percent of practicing lawyers in the state. We believe in working individually with each client to understand their unique circumstances and reach the ideal outcome for their families in New Jersey. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.