How is child support determined in the state of New Jersey?
Does child support exist without divorce?
New Jersey will allow a parent to file for custody and visitation rights without a legal divorce so that child support can be determined. Temporary custody must be decided prior to filing a petition for support.
If a parent remarries, how is the new spouse’s income viewed for child support?
If the new spouse has an income, it is not considered for support, because he or she has no legal obligation to provide support to the child. The additional income may allow the supporting parent to spend less, so more money might be available for the monthly support payments.
What are the primary parts of a support order?
Social Security number of each child, the amount to be paid to each child, how frequent the payments will be made, and the manner of payment.
What about medical insurance for the children?
In New Jersey this issue is typically addressed and taken care of in the Marital Settlement Agreement. It is important for the child or children to have coverage during the divorce process and after divorce.
Should support payments stop if parenting time is being prevented?
No. The payment of support is not a legal pre-requisite to the exercise of parenting time. If a parent is deprived of parenting time, he or she must still provide support.
How is support enforced?
In New Jersey, child support is usually enforced by having the payer-spouse’s wages garnished, which immediately deducts any support payment from the his/her before he/she receives it. The County Probation Department receives the payment and then distributes it to the custodial parent.
Is child support tax deductible?
The amount of support declared at the date of settlement is not considered income for the parent who receives it. Therefore the support amount cannot be deducted as an expense for federal income tax purposes.
Can child support be modified in New Jersey?
New Jersey will allow for the modification of child support as long as an involuntary and substantial change has occurred in a parent’s financial circumstances. The change will be typically associated with living arrangements and income.
If the paying spouse files for bankruptcy, is he or she obligated to make support payments?
Yes. Federal law does not allow any child support or alimony payments to be discharged. Basically the paying spouse is responsible for support for the time period stated in the original order.
Is college tuition a part of child support in New Jersey?
This all depends on the order that was granted by the court prior to the child attending college. If college tuition was not part of the order then you must re-file for modification to prove to the court that the child is doing well and it is in his or her best interest to remain in college. At this point the court will make a judgment whether the support should continue through school and whether more money should be paid to finance part of the tuition bills.
Rosanne DeTorres, co-founder of DeTorres & DeGeorge, LLC, is NJ Supreme Court certified as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. Choosing a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney assures you the most effective representation. Ms. DeTorres concentrates her family law practice on divorce, custody, child support and alimony.