New Jersey Child Support Lawyer
Understanding Child Support in New Jersey
If you are getting divorced and you have a child, then a major financial issue that you will need to consider is child support. In New Jersey, if you are getting divorced and you have children then child support and contribution to the child’s college are both necessary.
New Jersey has established a set of Child Support Guidelines. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines is basically a computer program that can be used to determine a person’s child support responsibilities. The first thing you should know about the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines is that there is a financial ceiling for the guidelines. The combined net income of both parents must be less than $187,600. If their net income after taxes is anymore than that, you cannot use the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
Again the Guidelines is basically a computer program used to determine what the child support will be. To use the guidelines, a child support lawyer puts the following factors into the guideline computation:
- How much money does each party earn per year?
- Is alimony being paid or received?
- How many children you have?
- How many overnights does each parent spend with the children (important factor)?
- Who pays for medical insurance?
- Is there a daycare expense?
Those are the 5 factors. Finally there is an additional factor if the children are over 12. This is due to the fact that older children are typically more expensive than younger children.
Once those figures are entered into the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, the program kicks out a child support number. If the program calculates a number of $5oo, then that means that each week the parent paying child support would need to pay $500. It important to note that the child support guidelines number is a total number. For example, if you had three children it would be $500 total, not $500 per child per week. The calculation of child support and alimony are both based on 4.3 weeks per month, not 4 weeks.
When child support is governed by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, it is calculated in this manner. It is important to note that this is a primary reason that a noncustodial parent often fights for parenting time at 104 nights a year or 28% of the parenting time.
If a Dad is a working Dad and Mom is staying home, and if Dad is getting 104 overnights a year, that’s 28% of the time. This is a 10/4 parenting time schedule. This is basically 4 overnights every other week. This is 26 times 4 or 104 overnights. That’s the level at which the discount on the child support guidelines is built in.
Let’s say you get 52 overnights the year the child support is figured out, and the next year you get 78 overnights (with everything else staying the same), you would have gained 26 overnights and your child support will go down a little bit because of the additional overnights. Now, if you increase overnights from 78 to 104, it may drop even more.
104 Overnights generates the big discount. This is one of the reasons noncustodial parents seek to reach that level. Of course, many parents of alternate residence actually want the time with their children.
Calculating Child Support in a High Net Worth Divorces
If combined net income of both divorcing parent is more than $187,600, then there are no guidelines exist. In this case, child support needs to be figured out and negotiated by the attorneys. These high net worth divorce cases almost always include alimony as well.
For example, maybe the Dad is a business owner earning $500,000 and Mom is working part time making $25,000 a year. That creates a large difference. So, how should child support be allocated?
The first consideration is expenses. Each party estimates the expenses. Then this is evaluated line by line. It is important to note that alimony sometimes overlaps here. One factor to keep in mind is there is no a tax break on child support, but there is a tax break on Alimony. So in a high net worth divorce case, the child support might be lowered and the alimony raised higher to take advantage of this benefit for the parent paying.
Alimony is tax deductible to the payer and taxable to the recipient. So sometimes, the parties will adjust their agreement like this. Maybe instead of paying $8,000 in alimony and $2,000 in child support, the parties will make an adjustment to $9,000 in alimony and $1,000 in Child Support. That way, the recipient gets almost the same amount of money, and the other parent gets a tax break to help with cash flow.
So Alimony and Child Support are correlated. It’s all money going from one person to the other. When both elements are involved, the two must be viewed as they relate to each other. With a large income difference, you might think it doesn’t make any sense. But if the alimony amount is being bumped up to where the child support would be, then it makes sense. The only difference is that Dad’s getting a tax break on the money.
Experienced New Jersey Child Support Lawyer
If you are getting divorce and you have children you will want to help understanding your child support situation. Our New Jersey Child Support Lawyer offers a free confidential consultation. Contact us to schedule sometime with an experienced New Jersey Child Support Lawyer.