The Garden State’s Family Court has ordered you to pay child support. You may be wondering whether the state will limit expenses to basics like food, shelter and clothing for the child or include such non-basic expenses as vacations, dance lessons and sports activities. The parent required to pay child support will often ask if they will have to provide additional money, on top of support payments, to pay for the child’s entertainment expenses, car insurance, footwear, extracurricular activities, sports equipment and other items. Generally, the state will not require you to provide additional money unless you have agreed to contribute to those expenses. New Jersey has very specific guidelines regarding what expenses child support may cover. For more information on what expenses child support may cover, please read on, then contact one of our child support lawyers in Bergen County, NJ soon. Here are some questions you may have:
Is clothing covered by child support in New Jersey?
According to the New Jersey child support guidelines, child support must include all children’s clothing, including school uniforms. Likewise, child support covers all children’s footwear, except special footwear for sports. As such, after paying child support, the non-custodial parent has no obligation to pay for any clothing for their children, other than sports footwear.
Does New Jersey child support cover entertainment for my child?
Per the New Jersey child support guidelines, child support payment covers the costs of the following entertainment-related expenses:
- Admissions to sports, recreational or social events
- Mobile devices
- Sound equipment
- Playground equipment
- Video games
- Photographic equipment
- Recreation, exercise or sports equipment
- Lessons and instructions
Does child support cover extracurricular expenses in New Jersey?
As previously stated, the Garden State does not obligate the non-custodial parent to contribute to the children’s extra-curricular activities, such as music lessons, sports or arts programs. However, if the child support agreement has a separate provision that spells out each parent’s contribution for extra-curricular expenses, the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay. Before you can write that provision, you must first obtain consent from both parents prior to enrolling the child in the activity. Even so, parents can’t unreasonably withhold their parental consent.
Can I make sure that the custodial parent spends the support payment on the child?
Currently, the non-custodial parent has no mechanism by which they can monitor what purchases the custodial parent makes with the child support money. For better or worse, the custodial parent may spend the money however they please. Unless you have evidence that the custodial parent isn’t meeting the child’s basic needs, the court won’t demand an accounting.
Speak with one of our skilled child support lawyers in Bergen County, NJ to discuss your rights and responsibilities.
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