Child Support Calculation Asbury Park NJ Attorney
Serving Parents across Ocean and Monmouth County
Child support is a key component of any divorce involving parents, and also often plays a role when unmarried parents have children. This is because the New Jersey legal system is of the belief that children are entitled to share in the income of both parents, that children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth, and that it is the duty of both parents to financially support their children to adulthood.
In New Jersey, the calculation of child support is largely determined by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines (N.J.S.A. Rule 5:6A). While this statute outlines specific factors for the calculation of child support (discussed in detail in the sections below), it leaves it to the parents (or a judge if necessary) to decide how child support will be paid between the parties -either directly, through the Probation Division, and potentially via wage garnishment. Parents and their attorneys are also free to negotiate for exactly when child support payments will end, by default in New Jersey when the child turns 19.
So although there is little room for flexibility when it comes to calculating how much child support is owed between two parents, other aspects of a child support agreement are highly flexible. It is for this reason especially that many parents choose to work with an experienced Asbury Park child support calculation attorney any time they are creating, modifying, or terminating a NJ child support agreement.
At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping parents to fairly and effectively resolve all manner of family law issues including divorce, child custody, and child support across the greater Ocean and Monmouth County area.
Call our Sea Girt office or our Brick office at (732) 812-3102 to discuss your unique needs and concerns related to any child support or family law matter in a free and confidential consultation with a member of our legal team today.
Calculating Child Support in Monmouth County
When it comes to determining the amount of child support each parent can expect to pay/receive, two key factors are considered:
- Income vs Expense – How much does each parent earn? How much is deducted from their income (for example support from previous relationships)? What are the expenses and needs of the children?
- Child Custody and Parenting Time – How much time does each parent spend with the children? Is the custody agreement shared custody or sole custody?
Below, we will discuss specific components of each of these two key child support calculation factors.
Child’s Expenses and Child Support Lawyer Jackson NJ
Beyond each parent’s income and deductible expenses, which are usually fairly straightforward and easy-to-calculate, the expenses and needs of the child plays a large role when calculating a child support agreement.
Specifically, there are three types of expenses incurred by children which are accounted for when calculating child support:
- Fixed Expenses – Consistent costs such as housing, water, and electricity
- Controlled Expenses – Costs associated with the child’s life such as clothing, hygiene, education, and certain extra-curriculars
- Variable Expenses – Expenses incurred by the parent when actually caring for the child such as food, transportation, and entertainment
In addition, New Jersey courts have found that a child’s secondary education (college, university, vocational school) can be a parental obligation. However, since the default age of child support termination in NJ is when the child reaches the age of 19, it is important for parents to plan for how they will support their child financially to achieve this type of education, or potentially file for a child support continuation in order to receive continued support past the child’s 19th birthday.
Please view our child support and college education page for more information, or call our attorneys today to discuss your child support agreement and how your child’s post-secondary education may affect it.
Child Custody and Calculating Child Support in Ocean County
Beyond the financial considerations which are used to calculate child support, the child custody and visitation agreement plays a key role when determining child support.
Specifically, the calculation hinges on whether or not the parents “share custody”, or one parent or the other has “sole custody”. These terms are often misunderstood as many parents believe “shared custody” to mean equal time with the children, while others believe “sole custody” to mean that a parent does not spend any time with their children at all.
In fact, shared custody and sole custody are legally determined by the number of hours that each parent spends with their children according to the visitation agreement. If a parent spends more than 28% of their time (roughly 105 overnights per year) with the children, then the parents are considered to “share custody”. On the other hand, if a parent spends less than 28% of their time with the children (roughly less than 105 overnights per year), then the custody agreement is considered a “sole custody” agreement.
There are actually two different formulas for calculating child support based on a shared custody arrangement or sole custody, although each formula still accounts for all the same things as discussed above such as income, expenses, etc.
The NewJerseyChildSupport.Org website provides a quick calculator for parents who wish to obtain a rough estimate of what they can expect to pay as part of a child support settlement, and if you look at the various factors used in its calculation, you can see where it asks about custody, percentage of parenting time, expenses, and deductions.
Contact Our Sea Girt Child Support Agreement Attorneys Today
At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping parents to create, modify, enforce, and terminate child support agreements in towns across Ocean and Monmouth County.
Attorney Peter J. Bronzino believes in keeping each of his clients highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, and understands that the more communication he has with his clients, the better they understand their legal rights and options, and the better they can work together to achieve the best possible results.
To speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any questions or concerns you may have when it comes to your child support agreement, its calculation, or negotiating for how payments will be made and when child support should terminate, please contact us online, or through either our Sea Girt office or our Brick office at (732) 812-3102.