Child Support Attorneys in Somerset County
Experienced Lawyers Serving Morris County, Middlesex County, Hunterdon County, Union County & throughout the State of New Jersey
Whether you are seeking child support or are being required to pay it, DeTommaso Law Group can help. Our Somerset County child support lawyers have extensive experience helping families ensure the well-being of their children during and after a divorce.
If you are looking for a team of knowledgeable divorce and family law attorneys in Morris, Hunterdon, Union Counties, and all of New Jersey, call (908) 274-3028 today.
Understanding Child Support Laws
In New Jersey, all parents have a continuous duty to provide financial support for their children. Child support payments will be made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising the child. The child will be deemed emancipated upon reaching the age of 18 if he or she has “moved beyond the sphere of influence” of his or her parents. Well-recognized exceptions include continued high school or college education and mental/physical disability, but the standard is broader and more amorphous than that. Moreover, a new termination of child support statute has taken effect with hotly-contested meaning.
Under the new statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67, child support automatically terminates upon the child:
- Passing away
- Getting married
- Reaching the age of 19
- Entering military service
However, there are certain circumstances whereby child support payments may continue past a child's 19th birthday. These circumstances include a court order specifying a different age for termination of child support, a written request asking to continue child support payments is submitted, and more.
Child Support Guidelines
The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are used by the court to set the amount of child support. The amount is based on the average amount that intact families spend on their children and the income of both parents. While the guidelines apply to almost everybody, there are specific situations where the court may not use the guidelines in determining the amount of child support. For example, if a family has more than six children, is too poor to make payments, or has other problems, the family may be able to request the court to bypass the guidelines. If you have bills related to caring for sick or elderly loved ones, high medical expenses, a disabled spouse who is unable to work, or something similar, you can ask the court to make an exception for your case.
The family law court will determine how much child support is owed by considering:
- Needs of the child;
- Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent;
- All sources of income and assets of each parent;
- Earning ability of each parent, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, custodial responsibility for children including the cost of providing child care and the length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or experience for appropriate employment;
- Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education;
- Age and health of the child and each parent;
- Income, assets and earning ability of the child;
- Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others;
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent; and
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant.
According to New Jersey laws on child support termination, payments cannot be made beyond the child's 23rd birthday for a dependent child. The receiving parent may file a petition to the court to seek "financial maintenance" for children above the age of 23, however, this would no longer legally be considered "child support."
Qualified Assistance with Child Support Matters
At DeTommaso Law Group, we understand that adequate child support payments can make a significant difference in the life of a child and his or her parents. When you turn to us, our Somerset County child support attorneys can aggressively fight on behalf of you and your child for a fair arrangement.
Consult with one of our experienced lawyers today by calling (908) 274-3028 or contacting us online.