Child Support Attorneys in New Jersey
Child Support Lawyers in Somerset County, Also Serving Morris County, Middlesex County, Hunterdon County, & Union County
Whether you are seeking child support in New Jersey 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.
Child support is intended to ensure that children continue to have the financial support of both parents even if the parents have separated or divorced. Problems arise either when the custodial parent wants more support than is necessary, or when the non-custodial parent refuses to make their child support payments. Our child support lawyers in NJ provide experienced legal counsel for all child support-related issues.
Are you looking for a team of knowledgeable New Jersey child support attorneys? We serve Morris, Hunterdon, Union Counties, and all of New Jersey. Send us an email or call (908) 274-3028 today to get in touch!
Child Support Laws in New Jersey
Under NJ child support law, 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.
When Does Child Support End in NJ?
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.
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
To determine the amount of child support, the court uses the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. The amount of child support is based on the average amount of money that intact families spend on their children and the income of both parents.
According to NJChildSupport.org, the guidelines are used by:
"Determining income and deductions, using the Guidelines charts, calculating both parents' shares, and taking care of special add-ons, deductions, and poverty tests."
The NJ child support guidelines have different rules for sole parenting vs. shared parenting. 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, then you can ask the court to make an exception for your child support case.
How Is Child Support Determined in New Jersey?
New Jersey 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."
Need to Enforce or Modify a Child Support Order?
There are cases where a child support order should be modified, or may need to be enforced by the court. As the custodial parent, you can ask the court to enforce child support if the non-custodial parent is refusing to make their payments. On the other hand, a non-custodial parent can request modification of child support if they have lost their job or experienced a significant pay cut.
Consult a Child Support Lawyer in Somerset County, NJ
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.