Child support in New Jersey is calculated in accordance with certain guidelines based on income and the child’s needs. The amount of time that a child receives support is also related to the child’s needs. For example, child support generally lasts until the child reaches the age of 18, but if the child requires support past that age for mental or physical reasons, a parent’s obligations may continue.
Child support can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances such as job loss. A judge will also review the support arrangements every three years and may make changes. The cost of day care, medical insurance and other factors also influence the judge’s decision regarding the support amount.
Parents can fill out a form through their local Child Support Agency to request support. The CSA has a number of other functions as well including enforcing, collecting, and distributing support and finding non-custodial parents. While the CSA is the most common path to obtaining support, parents may instead jointly agree on a support order that they then take to a judge for approval.
The process of calculating and obtaining child support can be complex depending on circumstances. A parent may need to pursue support through legal means, and an attorney may be of assistance in such a case. Even if the discussion regarding child support is amicable, parents may still wish to retain their own attorneys to ensure that both their own interests and that of the child are protected. While the individual circumstances of parents will be considered, courts endeavor to put the needs of the child first.
Source: Findlaw, “New Jersey Child Support Guidelines“, August 07, 2014