New Jersey family law courts believe that all children have the right to receive financial and emotional support from both parents. This holds true whether or not those parents are married. In cases of divorce, the issue of child support can sometimes be contentious. The important thing to keep in mind is that it is the child who is receiving the support.Guidelines
A standard set of guidelines has been established to determine the amount of support the non-custodial parent will provide. In ascertaining the amount of child support that will be ordered, the court follows three basic steps:
- The income and expenses of each parent is assessed.
- The amount of parenting time each party spends with the child is considered.
- Basic costs of caring for the child are determined. These include food, shelter, clothing, medical care, health insurance, extracurricular activities, and other related expenses.
Child support payments can be modified when there is a substantial change in the needs of the child or of the financial situation of either parent. Examples of a “substantial change” would include a significant change in income or the birth of another childe requiring support from the parent already paying support.
Child support modifications should never be made as an informal agreement between the parents. This is for the protection not only of the parent receiving support, but also for the benefit of the parent making the payments, who would be vulnerable to false charges of failing to pay the support.When Does Child Support end?
As a result of the Termination of Child Support Law, in effect as of February 1, 2017, child support terminates automatically at age 19. However, the custodial parent can request an extension if one of these conditions applies and can be proved:
- The child is still in high school or other secondary program.
- The child is a full-time student in college or another post-secondary program.
- The child has a physical or mental health disability.
- In any case, child support ends at age 23 and cannot be extended past that age. If support is needed, it must come from another source.
Parenting time and child support are two separate issues. One is not contingent upon the other.
If the non-custodial parent is behind in child-support payments, the custodial parent may not use this fact to deny the other parent his parenting rights.
On the other hand, if the custodial parent hinders the non-custodial parent’s ability to spend parenting time with his child, he should not withhold child-support payments as retribution.
Reasons Not to Withhold Child-Support Payments It is important to remember that it is your child who is entitled to your financial support. You don’t want to harm your child in order to get even with your ex.
Also, violating your court-ordered child support can subject you to penalties. These might include the garnishment of your wages, the confiscation of tax re-funds, the seizure of your driving license, and other impositions that can have an adverse effect upon your life.An Aretsky Law Group, P.C., Attorney Can Help
The knowledgeable lawyers at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., regularly work with custodial and non-custodial parents on child support matters.
Contact us if…
- you want to know how the guidelines set by the state apply to your situation;
- you want an experienced lawyer to negotiate a plan that will provide your child with the support he or she needs and deserves;
- you require assistance in having an existing order enforced;
- you need representation in your request for a child support modification; or
- you have a problem with any other child support issue.
We take the time necessary to understand your family situation and changing circumstances and will work to protect your interests in court. For legal help with child support plans or enforcement, contact us 24/7 at 800-537-4154.