Articles Posted in Child Support

According to many legal experts in New Jersey, January is the most popular month for divorce to occur. Nationally, the divorce filing rate in January is one third higher than the rate in other months. In fact, Google searches for divorce related topics have peaked in January, historically between the Jan 6 and Jan 12 time period.

Many legal and relationship experts note that this may occur since many couples view January as the time to embark on New Year’s resolutions and new beginnings. The holiday season also may cause a delay in divorces, since many parents want to maintain a sense of harmony for children during the holiday season in November and December.

There is also a financial component that may drive the trend of January divorces. For example, many parties may feel that if they file for divorce earlier in the year, assets such as end-of-year bonuses will not count towards total marital assets. Many tax professionals also advise couples to wait until the new year in order to consider additional legislation and potential tax breaks.

Arguably, the equitable division of shared assets is one of the primary concerns that couples consider when proceeding with a divorce. According to New Jersey law, equitable distribution is defined as the “distribution of the property, both real and personal, which was legally and beneficially acquired by them or either of them during the marriage”. Marital assets are typically defined as those which are acquired between the date of marriage and the date on which the complaint for divorce is filed.

Notably, there is a distinction between equitable distribution and community property. In states that practice equitable distribution, assets acquired during marriage belong to both parties regardless of title to said property. During a divorce, this property may be distributed by the courts in a variety of ways.

Factors often include:

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal illustrates a declining divorce rate in the United States. Since, 1979, the United States divorce rate has fallen 29% from 22.6 out of each 1,000 marriages, to 16.1 out of each 1,000 marriages. Many researchers attribute this decline to delayed marriages. For example, the median age of marriage for woman has increased from 20 years old in 1963 to 27 in 2017.

Interestingly, the divorce rates among age-categorized groups was not as uniform. The divorcer rate for couples under 54 years old consistently dropped, though the trend was reversed as individuals neared 55 and above. This category of “gray divorces” experienced a nearly doubled rate since 1979. Many researchers note that the rate of divorce is particularly high for this age group – which consists of baby boomers – since this group is more likely to be on their second marriage, which has a statistically higher rate of divorce.

If divorce is something going through your mind, there are some steps to take to ensure that you pursue it in a way that is ideal for you and your family. Primarily, understand your objectives of the divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all of the most important matters, then an uncontested divorce may be possible. These issues include child support and parenting arrangements; spousal support, better known as alimony; and distribution of marital property.

New Jersey family law upholds the belief that parents have the responsibility to provide their unemancipated children with support for a college education to the best of their abilities. The Appellate Division of New Jersey recently published a decision that dealt with the question of whether or not the divorced parents of a child who left home at 19 should be obligated to pay her college costs.

Emancipation and Child Support in New Jersey

Emancipation is a legal act that serves two purposes:

The New Jersey Child Support Bill signed into law on January 19, 2016, by Governor Christie went into effect on February 1, 2017. The main effect of this new law is that it changes the age at which a child is assumed by the court to be emancipated from 18 years of age to 19.

As a result of this new law, in New Jersey child support will automatically cease when the child turns 19 with these exceptions:

  • the child dies, marries, or joins the military; or

Is your child gifted or talented? If so, you are likely very proud! What you might not know, however, is that your child’s special abilities might lead to higher child support payments.

In a recent ruling Judge Jones of the Ocean County Superior Court affirmed that under certain circumstances the Court can deviate from New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines when calculating child support. Among the reasons for deviation allowed by the Guidelines is a child’s giftedness in a particular area.

The case in question was P.S. v. J.S., with P.S. being the father-plaintiff and J.S. being the mother-defendant. They had joint legal custody of their 13-year-old daughter, to whom the judge gave the pseudonym Julie. The mother had primary physical custody, but the father enjoyed liberal parenting time.

Direct Pay or Probation? What’s Best for You?

Child support is one of the most important issues to be decided in a divorce or legal separation. Once the calculations have been made, the custodial parent has to decide whether to have the payments go through the Probation Department or to receive them directly from the child’s other parent. Your first reaction might be to assume that direct payment is best. In most cases, however, it is in the recipient’s best interest to receive payments through probation.

The purpose of the Probation Department is to protect the child by doing all it can to ensure that the custodial parent receives the funds necessary to care for that child. That’s why the NJ family court judge will automatically order that payments be made through the Probation Department. It is up to the recipient to request direct payments.

College expensesNew Jersey child-support orders should consider the educational needs of the children. Generally speaking, New Jersey courts hold that it is the parents’ responsibility to provide a post-secondary education for their children. In some cases, the court will also issue an order that one or both parents contribute to private or religious elementary and/or secondary education.

Aretsky Law Group, P.C., will help you understand the issues involved. We will guide you through the process to ensure that your divorce agreement or modification meets the needs of you and your children. We will do everything we can to come to an agreement between you and your ex-spouse; however, if an agreement cannot be reached, we will vigorously represent you to protect your rights and to enable you to provide the best education possible for your children.

We are also able to provide assistance in the filling out and filing of the FAFSA, which is necessary if your child is applying for financial assistance.

child support new jersey who gets moneyOn March 22, 2016, Judge Lawrence Jones of the Ocean County Superior Court in New Jersey released an unpublished ruling regarding Kayahan v. Kayahan, parent’s dealing with divorce and child support issues. In his ruling he stated that in some cases a noncustodial parent may pay a portion of compulsory child support directly to a child over the age of 18 rather than to the custodial parent.

Mr. Kayahan, the defendant, father and noncustodial parent, filed a motion with the court to emancipate his daughter, in which case he would no longer be required to provide child support. Alternatively, he asked that the amount of child support be reduced and that he be allowed to pay his child, given the pseudonym Dina by the judge, directly.

Because Dina, who had recently graduated from community college, was about to enter a university as a full-time college student, the judge refused Mr. Kayahan’s request to emancipate her. Citing the fact that Mr. Kayahan’s income had been greatly reduced since the last court-ordered child support obligation was determined, the judge did rule in his favor regarding his request to reduce the amount he was required to pay. However, he ruled against him in his request to pay Dina directly. What is important about the ruling, however, is that he stated that in some cases it would be appropriate to pay a child over the age of 18 directly.

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