Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in New Jersey
Both parents of a child are obligated to provide support for that child, and when parents divorce or otherwise separate they retain those obligations. Child support generally refers to monetary payments made by the non-custodial parent to the parent with custody to contribute to the care of the child or children. On this page, we feature answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child support. However, because child support cases can be among the most divisive and emotionally charged, if you have questions about child support in New Jersey, we recommend contacting a child custody and child support lawyers such as Tournour & Weiner as soon as possible.
How is the amount of child support determined?
Generally, the amount of child support is set by the court using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines found in appendix IX-A of the New Jersey Court Rules and the following criteria:
- The needs of the child
- The standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent
- The income and assets of each parent
- The earning ability of each parent, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, and custodial responsibility for children
- The need of the child for education, including higher education
- The age and health of both the child and the parents
- The income and earning capacity of the child
- Prior support orders for other children
- The reasonable debts and liabilities of each parent and child
- Any other relevant facts
In cases of joint custody, child support payments are usually based on the amount of time the child spends in the custody of each of parent and the parents' relative incomes.
How long are parents legally obligated to support their children?
Both biological and adoptive parents must support a child until such time that:
- Child reaches the age of majority (support may be required for a longer period if the child has special needs or is in college)
- Child goes on active military duty
- Child is declared emancipated by a court
- Parental rights and responsibilities are terminated
What if the father of the child does not want to agree or admit that he is the father?
If a child's father does not agree or admit that the child is his responsibility, a genetic paternity test will be performed. Read more about paternity issues.
Do both parents have the same right to child support?
Yes. Each parent has an obligation to support his or her children, and a father who is the custodial parent has the right to ask for child support from the child's mother.
What if a parent doesn't pay their child support?
When a parent falls behind on his or her child support payments, the matter may be addressed in a post-judgment enforcement hearing during which the individual will be given an opportunity to explain why he or she has not kept up with the court-ordered payment schedule. If the non-custodial parent still does not pay, steps to enforce the order will be taken which may include garnishment of wages, tax refunds, or lottery winnings, or seizure of assets such as insurance proceeds, cars or other vehicles, or real estate.
Schedule an Appointment with a New Jersey Child Support and Child Custody Lawyer
If you have questions about divorce, alimony, child custody, or any other family law-related issue, contact the New Jersey office of child support and child custody lawyers, Tournour & Weiner, today. Our skilled family law attorneys will ensure that your children’s needs are properly represented throughout the divorce process.
“I had an excellent experience with Mr. Tournour - He was available for my calls and handled everything to perfection. Had my back in every aspect. I would highly recommend him.” Renee - Client