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How Child Support is Determined

Child support is a regular, monetary payment arrangement that a noncustodial parent normally provides to the parent that has custody of their child. This payment is the noncustodial parent’s compensation for the child’s living expenses for food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care. The question of how child support is determined is a complex legal issue, and courts are guided by legal principles to determine a child support arrangement that is in the child’s best interest.

If you are facing a child support dispute in New Jersey, contact Bhatt Law Group at (201) 798-8000 . We have had extensive experience in helping people with child support determination issues since 2006, and can assist you get the result that works best for you and your family.

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines

When a party files an application for, or a request to modify, a child support arrangement, New Jersey courts utilize Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines recognize that both parents have a continuous duty to provide child support, that children are entitled to share in both parents’ current income, and that children should not be economically victimized by divorce or out-of-wedlock birth. The Guidelines must be applied in all matters, regardless of whether child support is contested or not. The Guidelines are based on statistical averages calculated based on the combined income of the parents.

Courts are required to apply the guidelines unless statutory provisions allow them to deviate. For example, if parents have a combined income that exceeds the current $187,200 income threshold in the Guidelines, the court has to consider a list of factors for assigning supplemental payments in addition to the amount provided by the Guidelines. In general, courts consider the following when establishing child support:

  • The needs of the child
  • The standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent
  • All assets and sources of income of each parent
  • Each parent’s earning ability
  • The capacity and need of the child for education, to include higher education
  • The age and health of each parent and the child
  • The child’s assets, income, and earning ability
  • The parents’ responsibility for court-ordered support of other people
  • Each child and parent’s reasonable liabilities and debts
  • Other relevant factors as the court determines

Child Support Payments Until Emancipation

New Jersey courts will require the payment of child support until children are deemed to be emancipated by the court or through a marital settlement agreement. Emancipation usually occurs once children graduate from college or begin working full-time employment. This may also occur when a child marries or signs up for military service. Finally, emancipation may also occur by application with the court.

A Jersey City Child Support Lawyer Can Assist You

Bhatt Law Group can work with you to determine the appropriate amount of child support in your case. You will need the guidance of an experienced attorney who will take the time to listen to your unique circumstances and discuss all of your options. Bhatt Law Group has been helping people since 2006 by advocating for them in contentious family law issues, such as child support determinations.

Contact us today at (201) 798-8000 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.