February 24, 2014
New Jersey has presumptive Guidelines for child support in a divorce. The Guidelines are used if the combined net family income is $187,200 or less and the children are under 18 years of age or over 18 and living at home while attending college. Good cause must be shown for a court to deviate from the Guidelines, but parties who mediate their divorce or resolve the issues through negotiation can agree to an amount which is different from the Guidelines.
The cost of health insurance for the children is included in the child support calculation so that it can be allocated between the parties. The cost of work-related childcare for the Primary Parent may be included in the calculation or it may be allocated separately. Because childcare costs often vary from year to year, many parents opt to handle this cost separately.
To start the Guidelines calculation, you need to know the annual gross income for each party, the amount of any mandatory deductions (such as union dues) and the amount of alimony, if any, that will be paid and received. The program automatically calculates the anticipated federal and NJ income taxes and arrives at a net annual income for each party. The total estimated cost to cover a child’s share of the shelter, food, clothing and personal expenses is then automatically calculated and allocated proportionally between the parents.
The Parent of Alternate Residence (previously known as the Non-custodial parent) pays his or her share of the child support to the Primary Residential parent. While the Primary parent does not “pay” child support, it is assumed that his or her share of this cost is being spent for the benefit of the children when their mortgage, taxes, insurance, food, clothing, etc. are paid for. Some expenses, such as private school, camp and larger activity fees are often shared and paid separately from child support.
Child support can be paid directly or through the Probation department of the court in the county in which the divorce is venued. If paid through the court, parents have online access to their account and can track their payments. A wage garnishment may also be requested to insure payment. Probation will automatically enter a Judgment if any arrears accrue and will initiate enforcement proceedings upon request.
For further information, contact Risa A. Kleiner, Esq. at 609.951.2222 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org