How is Child Support Calculated in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, children have a right to financial support from both parents, regardless of the parents’ relationship status. How child support is calculated is according to a formula known as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support guidelines take much into consideration when calculating the support amount, but the two primary considerations are income and custody arrangements.
There are two different worksheets that can be used when dealing with the custody side of things. The first, is the sole parenting worksheet which is used when one parent has all the time or greater than 78% of the overnights with the child or children. The second worksheet is the shared parenting worksheet which is used when one parent has at least two overnights per week with the child or children under the regular schedule.
For purposes of income, the Child Support Guidelines consider all earned or unearned income. This can include:
The amount of child support that will be owed, as calculated by the guidelines, is presumed by the New Jersey Courts to be the correct amount. However, there are circumstances where though there may be a deviation from the Child Support Guidelines. Examples of these circumstances can include special education expenses of the children, or special needs of the child or children for a mental or physical disability.
Is a Child Support Amount Modifiable?
Child support can be modified in limited circumstances. In order to qualify for a modification of the child support order, the parent requesting the modification must show that they are experiencing “changed circumstances” that are permanent, substantial, and unanticipated. This can include an increased cost of living, the losing a stable living accommodation, an increase or decrease in income, just to name a few examples.
Do you have additional questions about child support? Each case is different. Let’s discuss your options during a Free Consultation.