Raising children is expensive, particularly in the Garden State. This can be especially true when parents are in the process of divorcing. If this process appears complex, please read on, then contact our child support lawyers in Bergen County, NJ to discuss how child support works in New Jersey.
How does child support work in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, both parents must financially support their children. New Jersey follows an “Income Shares Model” for determining child support. Under this model, the courts will attempt to estimate the amount of money the parents would have spent on their children if they remained together and were not divorcing. The court uses the parents’ combined net incomes to determine how much the non-custodial parent should pay to the custodial parent, i.e. the parent with primary physical custody. The following expenses go into the calculations:
- Basic necessities, i.e. food, clothing and shelter
- Medical care
- Educational fees
- Transportation and travel
- Extracurricular expenses
- Unreimbursed health care expenses
And, if your case merits it, child support may cover predictable and recurring payments, such as school and college tuition, and whatever other relevant expenses apply.
Can the amount be modified?
Support obligations can be modified when either parent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances. Such circumstances include job loss, the permanent disability of a parent or child and a change in parenting time. Bear in mind that modifications can result in either an increase or decrease in payment amounts. That’s why you’ll need one of our skilled Bergen County NJ family law and divorce attorneys to obtain and prepare current case information statements, supporting affidavits and legal arguments.
What happens if I don’t pay?
Failure to pay could lead to the court ordering a bench warrant for your arrest. Please note that the issuance of a bench warrant will automatically result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Ultimately, demonstrating willful noncompliance and refusal to pay will give the judge the option of convicting you of contempt of court, an offense punishable by up to 18 months in jail. A bench warrant can be ordered in as little as two weeks if you refuse to pay. Before you commence any family law proceedings, you will need quality legal representation to fight for your best interests.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.