Parents have a responsibility and an obligation under New Jersey law to care for their children financially. Parents who do not reside with their children must provide financial care by paying child support to the residential parent.
Child support does not belong to the parent; it belongs to the child – it is meant to provide for the children’s needs. Those who pay child support often misunderstand the concept and expect an accounting of how the funds are used after it is paid to the other parent. That is not the way New Jersey child support works. Appendix IX-A of the New Jersey Court Rules explains that the child support award is intended to cover the child’s share of expenses for housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, unreimbursed heath care up to and including $250 per child per year, and miscellaneous items. The fact that a family does not incur a specific expense does not change the amount of the child support award. When running the child support guidelines, both parents’ incomes are used. Depending on the circumstances, if one parent is unemployed or underemployed, an appropriate amount of income could be imputed to that parent. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines also factors in payment of health insurance premiums for the child, the cost of work-related childcare, whether a parent must pay mandatory union dues, the receipt or payment of alimony, and other factors set forth in Appendix IX-A. .
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines apply when the parents’ combined net income is $187,200 or less. If the parents’ combined net income exceeds $187,200, then the lowest amount of child support awarded would be the guidelines amount. Beyond that, the court is required to consider the factors in the New Jersey Child Support statute.
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Wilson Family Law LLC
667 Shunpike Road, Suite 5
Chatham, NJ 07928
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