Child support is the court-ordered payments a parent pays to help with the costs of raising a child. In New Jersey, child support lasts until the child turns 18, but can be extended in some circumstances. Parents entering the child support system may feel overwhelmed. The following are guidelines to help you better understand the child support system in New Jersey.
Requesting Child Support in New Jersey
There is more than one way to request child support in New Jersey. In most cases, one parent completes an application for child support and files it in family Court. In some cases the parents may agree to a child support amount so they sign a Consent Order which the Judge also signs. If the parties cannot agree, the Court uses the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to determine an amount.
Determining the Amount of Child Support
Overall, the amount of child support is based on the child’s needs and the parent’s ability to pay. New Jersey courts use a standard set of guidelines to calculate the actual payment. The guidelines factor into account both parents’ income and regular expenses such as daycare, extracurricular activities, and health insurance.
When both parents earn similar incomes, the court may split child support equally. When one parent earns more than the other, that parent usually pays more. The court also considers how much time the child spends with each parent and adjusts child support accordingly. New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are designed to prevent parents from paying so much that they are left in poverty.
Payment of Child Support
Parents in New Jersey receive child support through direct deposit or through a New Jersey Debit Card. Direct deposit recipients need to complete an authorization form. Parents who choose not to use direct deposit have payments sent directly to a New Jersey Debit Card that can be used anywhere to make purchases or to obtain cash at any ATM.
Enforcing Child Support
The state of New Jersey monitors child support payments and automatically sends alerts when payments are missing. The New Jersey Child Support Program has several tools to enforce child support payments. Parents who refuse to pay can have their income withheld, assets seized, license suspended, and warrants issued for their arrest.
It is important that every child have the resources they need to thrive. Many single parents find it difficult to make ends meet, even with child support. If you need financial assistance in addition to child support, contact the Work First New Jersey Welfare Program for financial aid, food stamps, and child care.
Mendham Child Support Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C Guide Clients Through the Child Support Process
Navigating the child support system can be a daunting process. To protect you and your children for years to come, contact a Mendham child support lawyer at Lyons & Associates, P.C. We handle the practical matters of your divorce and child custody matters as you embark on this new beginning. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to schedule your free case consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Somerville, New Jersey, and our team proudly serves clients throughout the state, including Somerset County, Morris County, and Union County.