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How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in New Jersey?

When two parents decide to divorce, they must settle new arrangements for their children. Even though the child may live in only one home with a custodial parent, both parents are required to financially assist the child throughout their upbringing. This is done through child support payments. While parents can have a say in how the support is paid or received, the amount is determined during the divorce proceedings by the court. 

Can a Custody Agreement Affect Child Support?

There are two main factors that can affect the outcome of child support. This may be the percentage of time the supporting parent spends with their child and if they have shared or sole custody. If the supporting parent has shared custody of their child, it means they spend at least 28% of overnight time per year with them. If the other co-parent has sole custody, it means the supporting parent spends less than 28% of overnight time with their child. 

Calculating Child Support

Every family is different from one another, which is why each child support case is treated as such. In the state of New Jersey, there is no predetermined amount that a parent may be required to pay in child support. Instead, it is calculated by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. With this system, the court can determine a fair amount to be paid in child support based upon the family’s financial situation and what they can provide for their child. The formula in place applies to families with a combined yearly income between $8,840 and $187,200. This income is then calculated with the cost of living for the child to determine an amount that can provide the child with a stable upbringing.

Factors to Consider

While most families are situated within the standard guidelines provided by the state, not every family falls under the same scope. This may be for a variety of reasons: if the house supports more than six children, either parent has un-reimbursed medical expenses, the child has educational expenses, or the child has special needs. It is important to know that in these situations, the court considers several different factors for families outside of the guidelines to determine child support. This can include the following:

  • The financial status of each parent
  • Who has physical custody of the child
  • Any income, debt, and assets of each parent
  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s work history
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s age/health
  • The child’s education
  • The cost of providing for the child

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