Morris County NJ Child Support Attorneys
Divorce and Family Lawyers with Offices in Morristown, New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, children have a right to financial support from both parents, regardless of the parents’ relationship status. In other words, whether the parents are married, living together, or no longer in contact, a shared child involves certain rights and responsibilities. Child support is among the chief responsibilities of parents, and issues regarding child support often arise in the context of divorce proceedings. In other cases, one of the child’s parents may seek financial provisions through a paternity proceeding. While other areas of family law are regulated by general guidelines, child support is governed by a strict formula, known as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. Although it may seem that these determinations leave no room for interpretation, it is essential to ensure that all factors are considered and that the formula is applied properly.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, with offices in Morristown, New Jersey, our experienced child support lawyers work tirelessly to protect children and parents involved in child support matters, including post-divorce child support modifications. We are well-versed in the provisions of the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, as well as current case law regarding child support determinations. We understand that these proceedings have a tendency to overwhelm, which is why we ensure that you have all of the information and a comprehensive understanding of your rights and responsibilities. To learn more about child support in New Jersey, contact our New Jersey child support attorneys today at 973-840-8970. Initial consultations are always provided free of charge.
New Jersey Child Support Determinations
As mentioned above, child support in New Jersey is determined based on a fixed formula, outlined in Court Rule 5:6A and Appendix IX, known as the Child Support Guidelines. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are governed by the following principles:
- Child support is a continuous duty of both parents
- Children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents; and
- Children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth.
The primary elements included in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are the incomes (or earning abilities) of each spouse, which must be accurately determined in order to arrive at a fair order of support, the age of the child, the time that the child spends with each parent. Other factors include health care, child care, and other expenses. “Expenses” are divided into three distinct categories, including:
- Fixed expenses: consistent cost of living expenses, such as costs for housing (i.e. rent or mortgage payments), utilities, furnishings, and household items
- Variable expenses: costs associated with the time that the child spends with one parent, such as food, transportation, or the cost of specific activities. This is the most discretionary form of spending, as it is determined by the parent who is currently enjoying parenting time
- Controlled expenses: the cost burden incurred by the child’s primary caregiver, such as clothing and personal items
A thorough understanding of the factors involved in child support determinations is critical to ensuring fairness in the application of the child support formula. Due to the nuances of these issues, it is highly advisable to consult with an attorney who has expertise in the area of New Jersey child support.
Contact our Morristown NJ Child Support Lawyers for a Free Consultation
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C., in Morristown, we work to protect the rights of both children and their parents. If your ex-spouse is not paying the court-ordered amount of support, we can also guide you through the child support enforcement process. Call 973-840-8970 today, or contact us online, for a free consultation with one of our skilled and knowledgeable New Jersey child support attorneys.