Most parents want what's best for their children. They want them to be happy, healthy, have their needs met, and be able to thrive. While parents may agree on these goals, they may have very different ideas about how to achieve them. As a result, child support can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce or child custody case.
Like child custody matters, all child support decisions must be made with the children's well-being in mind. In New Jersey, children have a basic, foundational right to financial support from both parents, regardless of whether the parents are divorced or were never married. To that end, the court often requires one parent to make regular support payments to the other for the benefit of their children.
However, though the state's process for determining and enforcing child support is well-intentioned, it's by no means foolproof. Fortunately, the experienced and compassionate divorce and family law attorneys with Carl Taylor Law can help you understand your rights and advocate for a support agreement that's in your children's best interests.
Calculating Child Support Payments
In most cases, New Jersey uses a complex equation to determine child support amounts. This equation considers a broad range of factors, such as:
- The parents' income from all sources (both earned and unearned)
- How often each parent has the children overnight
- The number of children
- The children's ages
- Health care and child care costs
- Support paid for children from another relationship
The judge may also weigh the following before deciding child support amounts:
- The children's specific needs
- The role each parent has taken in the children's lives so far
- The standard of living the children are accustomed to
- The parents' respective educations, skills, work experiences, and earning capacities
Though New Jersey relies heavily on its equation when calculating child support payments, disputes can still arise between parents over the values inputted. For example, parents may underestimate their income or overestimate the number of nights their children spend with them in an attempt to skew the equation's results—and, ultimately, the amount received or paid in child support. Our attorneys work to help both parties stay on the straight and narrow, and focused on what matters most: what's best for the children.
Modifying, Terminating, or Extending Child Support
Circumstances change and, when they do, your child support agreement may need to change as well. Though you can seek modifications to the agreement any time situations change, some of the most common reasons for child support revision requests include:
- Changes to the child custody or parenting time agreement
- Changes in the parents' incomes (positive or negative)
- Parent diagnosed with a serious illness or disability
- Child diagnosed with a serious illness or disability
- Changes in expenses necessary to raise the children
In New Jersey, child support is paid until the children are emancipated or turn 19. However, if your children are still in high school, enrolled full time in a post-secondary education program, or have a permanent disability, you may be able to have the support extended until they're 23. Additionally, in cases where the child has a severe mental or physical disability, a judge has the power to extend support payments even further.
Struggling With Child Support Issues? We Can Help
At Carl Taylor Law, our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and skill needed to help you resolve your divorce, family law, and child support issues. Let us empower you to find your happily even after! Attorneys Carl Taylor and Lisa Stein-Browning can help you:
- Create a child support agreement that protects your rights and your children's interests
- Modify an existing child support agreement
- Emancipate a financially independent child
- Petition the court to enforce the child support order if your ex refuses to pay
- Extend child support payments for children attending school or suffering from a disability
Request a Private Consultation with Flemington, NJ Divorce Attorneys
Contact Carl Taylor Law today to schedule an appointment for a private consultation. We'll discuss your child support concerns, and help you understand your legal rights and options. Don't wait—request your consultation now.