Child support is a series of payments paid by one parent to the other parent for financial support. The parent who pays the support is called the non-custodial parent. They typically have visitation rights and not primary custody of their child.
One big myth about child support law in New Jersey is that money a non-custodial parent pays prior to a child support order counts toward current child support. It doesn’t. In fact, the court doesn’t recognize any payments and/or gifts made by the non-custodial parent prior to a child support order. That’s why it is important to establish a child support order early with the help of a Child Support Law Attorney short hills nj.
What Factors are Included in Calculating Child Support?
How the New Jersey family court calculates child support is based on a specific formula that is often described as complex. The most significant factors that go into determining how much the non-custodial parent will pay vary according to the age of the child. For example, daycare expenses are factored into child support payments for younger children. Factors that are always included are each parent’s income, child’s medical insurance costs and the child’s basic necessities. The living arrangements of the child is also included. If the child must travel to see their non-custodial parent, that expense is included in the monthly payment.
What Does Child Support Pay for in New Jersey?
In general, child support goes to pay for the financial obligations of raising a child in the state. Specifically, the support goes to pay for basic necessities for the child, health insurance and child care expenses. Basic education expenses are also included like school transportation and school supplies. If the child must travel to visit the non-custodial parent, that is included in the monthly payments too.
How Long is a Non-Custodial Parent Required to Pay Child Support?
New Jersey law is very specific amount how long a parent pays child support. All child support obligations cease when the child graduates from high school or reaches 17 years old. It depends on whichever comes first. The only exception is if the child has certain emotional or physical challenges. Child support may continue past the age of 17 years old or when they graduate from high school.
Contacting a Family Law Attorney for Help with Child Support Orders
Once child support is established, it is reviewed every three years by a judge. This means that the amount of child support may change if the court determines there should be an increase or decrease. Each parent has the right request a child support modification. A modification also increases or decreases the amount of child support based on the parent’s request.
However, before either parent can request a modification they must have a substantial change in their life. This change must be unanticipated and has a bearing on financially supporting the child. Contact a family law attorney to understand more about child support and to seek representation.