Child Support Attorneys in Cherry Hill, NJ
Parents in New Jersey are obligated to support their children until the age of 19. This is a minor shift from the previous age of 18, changed on February 1, 2017. This is the presumed age of emancipation. Many times, the support obligation extends far beyond the 19th birthday. When a couple cannot agree to a fair child support structure, they can easily face a courtroom to litigate the matter. When this is the case, a judge will decide on the case using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, the consideration of relevant factors, and the best interests analysis. The best interests analysis is the principle used by courts when hearing child-related cases. Simply put, all decisions regarding the child must be in his or her best interests first, then what is fair and just to the parents regarding their situation. Child support is a significant legal matter, especially emotional after custody is determined. If you are a parent who is facing the contested issue of child support, it is important to have quality legal support to help you through these tough times. Contact Underwood & Micklin for a consultation to discuss your legal matter today.
NJ’s Child Support Guidelines
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are in place to ensure that a child is cared for and parents follow this continuing obligation, the child shares in the income of the parents, and the impact of the divorce on the child is mitigated. Acting in accordance with the best interests of the child, the court will use the Guidelines, a general formula, to establish each party’s support structure. The Guidelines do not take other factors into consideration, including the custody arrangement. If the parents both work and are equally paid, the support would start at 50%. For most cases, the income of the parents is rarely even and the percentage of the support is almost never even after the consideration of other factors.
Factors that impact NJ child support
As stated above, the amount of support required by each parent has much to do with a range of factors the court will consider in addition to the Guidelines. Just a few of these factors include:
- The custody arrangement
- The economic circumstances of each parent
- The child’s needs
- Income and assets of each parent
- Earning ability of each parent (education, training, skills, etc.)
- Age and health of each parent
- Age and health of the child
- Other child support orders
- The family’s standard of living
When does child support end in New Jersey?
Child support ends when the child is emancipated. The court’s assumption is that a child is emancipated at the age of 19, but support may need to extend far beyond that year. For example, if a child is disabled, the child support obligation does not end at 19 years. The same goes for children who are in school. In some circumstances, a child may be entitled to support until the age of 23. Parents can file a motion to end the support, allowing the court to decide on the matter. Emancipation of a child is fact-sensitive and, while some children may be emancipated at 19 years, others are not.
If you are a parent who believes that your child should pay for school, you may be misinformed. Capable parents may be legally responsible for the cost of education. Factors put forth in the case N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(a) and Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529, 544 (1982) will determine how much, if any, parents will need to pay.
Contact our South Jersey child support attorneys
Underwood & Micklin is an effective legal team with over 20 years of experience helping clients through divorce and family law matters. Our firm understands how hard it can be to face an uncertain future. When you partner with Underwood & Micklin, you are in good hands. Contact our firm to discuss your legal matter.