How is New Jersey Child Support Calculated?
NJ child support is calculated by starting with a basic child support allocation amount. This allocation amount takes into account factors such as how much each parent earns, and how much time the child spends with each parent.
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are contained in New Jersey Court Rule 5:6A and Appendix IX. These guidelines help to establish a formula that yields an accurate base calculation for the vast majority of New Jersey parents. Appendix IX includes a table of basic support amounts which is based on the number of children in the family and the combined net weekly income of the parents. Once a base child support calculation is determined, adjustments are made based on three categories of expenses.
The categories of expenses which effect adjustments are as follows:
- Fixed Expenses – Fixed expenses include costs such as rent, mortgage and utility payments
- Controlled Expenses – Controlled expenses include clothing, personal care products, and entertainment/misc. items
- Variable Expenses – Variable expenses include food, transportation, and occasional entertainment
The Effects of Sole Parenting vs. Shared Parenting on NJ Child Support Calculations
Depending upon the parenting plan agreed upon or ordered by the courts, categories of expense will be adjusted in the guidelines formula. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines includes a sole parenting worksheet and a shared parenting worksheet. The division of parenting time helps determine the best choice of worksheet in each individual child support case. For example if the child spends no more than two overnights per week with the noncustodial parent, the sole parenting worksheet is utilized. A shared parenting worksheet is utilized when the child spends more than two overnight visits per week with the noncustodial parent. These calculations can have an impact on the amount of child support required by the State of New Jersey.
What is a Fair and Accurate Amount of Child Support in NJ?
The goal of the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines and the sole vs. shared parenting worksheets is to determine a fair and accurate amount of child support to be paid by the supporting parent. NJ Child Support Guidelines and calculating an accurate child support payment can be challenging to say the least. Based on your individual circumstances and requirements, adjustments may impact the calculations. Furthermore in cases where the guidelines are inaccurate New Jersey Child Support is governed by applicable case law as well as State Statutes.
The experienced family law lawyers at the Himelman and Himelman Law Firm understand how important accurately calculating child support is. Our primary goal is ensuring that you and your children are economically protected even after the most painful of divorces. We will work on your behalf to ensure that New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are accurately applied to your individual situation. Contact us today for a free consultation.