New Jersey Divorce: Child Support
At Tournour Law in East Brunswick, we are dedicated to providing exceptional representation in all matters involving separation, divorce, child support and post-judgment enforcement. Our firm was established in 1999, and our attorney, Frank Tournour, has been exclusively practicing family law for over 30 years.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is financial assistance a parent provides to the other parent, or former spouse, for the support of their children. Couples who are separated but not divorced may also arrange to have a system of child support. Couples who have never been married can also be subject to child support guidelines. In most cases, the parent who retains custody of the children is entitled to receive assistance from the other parent. Child support is negotiated as part of a divorce settlement, or it can be ordered by the court. Child support agreements are not limited to monetary compensation. They may also include provisions such as health care coverage and tuition fees for the children.
In the state of New Jersey, child support is paid until the dependent children become emancipated or self-supportive. The actual point in time when a child becomes self-supportive, however, varies by case. For some children, this occurs at the age of 18. For others, it occurs after graduation from college. For still others, it occurs at some point later in life. During the divorce process, parents can specify which events will constitute the emancipation of their children. If an agreement cannot be reached, however, a family court will need to be petitioned later on to determine whether a particular child has become emancipated.
Following a divorce, child support can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
Determining Child Support And The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
Child support is calculated based on a number of factors, including:
- The number of children involved in the divorce
- The income of each parent
- The amount of time the children spend with each parent
- Whether the children have any disabilities or special needs
- The living expenses of the custodial parent
- The children’s standard of living prior to the divorce
In New Jersey, child support is determined by inputting these and other factors into a set of worksheets entitled New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. As this process requires each parent to provide extensive financial information, it can be quite complicated and lengthy. It represents a generic approach to resolving child support disputes that cannot account for the unique circumstances of every family.
In handling matters of child support, attorneys use the worksheets as a guideline to estimate the amount of child support necessary. They realize that each family’s situation is different and work to ensure that the individual needs of their clients’ children get full consideration. When parents can’t reach an agreement together, mediation specifically focused on child support can be an effective process for resolving disputes about expenses not accounted for in the state calculator.
Child Support Arrears And Post-Judgment Enforcement
When child support goes into arrears – in other words, when there is a failure to pay – it can be incredibly disruptive and stressful. In a post-judgment enforcement hearing, a family court can order that child support be paid, can order that attorney’s fees to pursue the arrears be paid, and can even order that the non-paying parent be incarcerated for failure to pay.
Questions About Child Support? Call Today.
At Tournour Law, our attorney has the experience and knowledge needed to help you. If you are involved in a child support dispute and want to be sure that your children receive the full amount of support to which they are entitled, please reach out to schedule an appointment by calling 732-913-3634 or emailing us through our online form.