How Does Child Support Work in New Jersey?

Child support is one of the most disputable issues in a divorce. If you are a divorcing parent, reach out to a New Jersey family law attorney to learn more about child support and how we can best guide you through this process. Here are some questions you may have:

How does child custody affect child support in New Jersey?

The majority of child support is based on which parent has physical custody for most of the time. In most cases, parents who do not see their child for the larger portion of the week feel as though they do not owe their former partner anything, because they aren’t receiving as much parenting time. However, that is completely false. Normally, if a financially dependent spouse is with the child for the majority of the time, they will be entitled to child support payments.

What are the determining factors for child support in New Jersey?

Child support in New Jersey is based on a fixed formula known as the Child Support Guidelines. These 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
  • Children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock

In order to determine a fair order of support, the guidelines will require finding the incomes of each spouse, the age of the child, and the time that the child spends with each parent. There are other expenses that are divided into three categories:

  • Fixed expenses: consistent cost of living expenses (i.e. rent or mortgage payments, utilities, furnishings, and household items)
  • Variable expenses: costs associated with the time that the parent spends with the child (i.e. food, transportation, or the cost of specific activities)
  • Controlled Expenses: the cost burden sustained by the child’s primary caregiver, such as clothing and personal items

Given all of the nuances involved in child support determinations, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced family law attorney at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C.

When can I stop paying child support?

In most cases, child support will end when children are emancipated in the eyes of New Jersey courts. Generally, this is when a child graduates high school, is not attaining higher education and is physically capable of getting a job. However, there are some exceptions that can prolong or end child support early. These situations can include:

  • One parent having high or unreimbursed medical expenses
  • The child chooses to pursue higher education
  • The dependant parent receives a large raise or sum of money
  • The child has special needs

How do New Jersey courts determine child support?

There are various factors that contribute to the court’s decision concerning child support, however; your child’s well-being will always be the priority. New Jersey courts may consider factors concerning both parent’s age and health, yearly incomes, whether either parent is remarried or cohabitating with another person, and whether the household has more than six children living in it.


If you have any questions regarding your family law matter, you can depend on our legal team to fight for your best interests, every step of the way. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C. today to learn more about how our legal team can assist you.


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