The ins and outs of child support

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Child care is perhaps the most stressful aspect of the divorce process in New Jersey. Insurance, medical needs, college expenses, and general disputes are only a few of the issues parents come across when separating. Child support procedures vary by state, and each state typically selects from a number of models to best handle the particulars of child support.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers acknowledges that it is the responsibility of both parents to provide support for a child they have brought into the world. The amount of funds expected from each parent depends on level of income and other details regarding the case. The AAML also states that child support guidelines are mandatory in all cases for the initial application of child support when the parents’ combined net income is $150,800 or less. Once the court has determined the net income of both parents, as well as basic child support obligations, certain expenses can be added to the child support plan. Specific support reductions can be applied in the case of government benefits.

New Jersey’s Child Support Program offers a vast number of resources parents can use. Below are a few services the program provides:

  • Locates the non-custodial parents using federal and state tools
  • Establishes legal fatherhood
  • Establishes support order (the legal record indicating what the non-custodial parent must pay for the child)
  • Enforces unpaid child and medical support
  • Works through the courts to resolve disputes

The NJCSP offers steps to apply for child support services, as well as other resources that provide updated information on child support cases. The program’s handbook also offers contact information of other child support resources.

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