Who Pays Child Support when One Parent Earns More than the Other in New Jersey

Does My Ex's Higher Income Affect My Child Support Payments in NJ?When a New Jersey couple with a child divorces, there are a number of issues that must be addressed, including equitable division of property, spousal support, child custody, and child support. New Jersey Family courts are committed to ensuring that the best interests of all children involved in its cases are prioritized; and when it comes to determining child custody arrangements and child support, the court’s focus is on preserving the child’s prior standard of living. But what if the sole breadwinning spouse gets sole custody of the child? Do both parents pay child support, even if the custodial parent makes substantially more? That and other questions are answered below. If you have questions about your own divorce, custody, and child support proceedings, call (732) 812-3102 or reach out to us online to schedule a complimentary consultation with Bronzino Law Firm today.

Why Reaching a Mutual Agreement on Child-Related Terms is Particularly Challenging

Divorce is complex, and even spouses who are on good terms run into obstacles when negotiating the terms of their divorce. When children are involved, it can be even more challenging to reach a mutual agreement on things like child custody and child support, because children are a highly emotional matter. Parenting time and financial obligations to a child’s upbringing touch the core of a person and can thus be contentious issues. Particularly when one parent is seeking sole custody and severely limiting the other parent’s access to quality time with their child, finding mutual agreement on the financial backside can be hard to come by.

Does My Former Partner’s Income Matter for Child Support in NJ?

The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines outline considerations the court makes to ensure that the child of divorce will maintain the same standard of living they had prior to the separation. The court uses an income shares method to determine the amount a non-custodial parent will be required to pay to contribute to the child’s financial wellbeing, including food and housing, healthcare, transportation, educational and extracurricular supplies, and the child’s other basic needs. These considerations and calculations made by the court determine the percentage the non-custodial parent is required to contribute. Even if they make less money, the non-custodial parent will be required to provide equitable financial support to the child’s upbringing.

The Income Shares Model Explained

The income shares model is based on the principle that both parents, regardless of custody, are financially responsible for providing for their child’s needs. While it is not an exact science, the method estimates the proportion of each parent’s income that would have contributed to meeting the child’s financial needs prior to the divorce. This figure is used to determine a monthly child support obligation.

The Role of Income in Child Support Calculations

Does My Former Partner's Income Matter for Child Support in New Jersey?Both parents have a financial obligation to provide for their child. However, each individual’s income is only one of the considerations a judge reviews to determine how much the non-custodial parent will owe in child support to maintain a proportionate balance. Other factors are also taken into consideration according to the Child Support Guidelines.

Other Important Considerations for Child Support Payments

In addition to each parent’s income, additional factors such as the specific custody arrangement, the child’s age and needs, the parents’ assets and outstanding debts, their age and health status, and expenses associated with raising the child are taken into consideration.

Speak with an Attorney at our Brick NJ Office About Your and Your Ex’s Income in Your Child Support Case

When it comes to negotiating the important specifics of a divorce settlement agreement where a child is involved, including child custody and child support, it is always in your best interests to have the legal counsel of an experienced family law attorney. Because divorce is both complex and emotionally taxing, a divorce attorney at Bronzino Law Firm will serve as an objective and comprehensive facilitator of the process. We can make sure you cross all t’s and dot all i’s now while keeping your post-divorce wellbeing central to your focus. This includes your relationship with and obligations to your child. Our family lawyers are committed to serving families in Freehold, Sea Bright, Point Pleasant, Ocean Township, Long Branch, Belmar, and elsewhere in Monmouth and Ocean County in their child support, divorce, and custody matters. Contact (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation to go over your case.