Divorce proceedings can be complicated, particularly when there are children involved. Several factors determine child support in New Jersey, including income level and custody percentage.
Understanding the Impact of Alimony on Child Support in NJ
The courts calculate child support in New Jersey as a percentage of your income. However, within their calculation are the expenses necessary to support your child. For example, your payment for health insurance is included. If childcare is necessary, that would be included.
New Jersey uses the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to calculate child support. Basically, the guidelines are compilation of all the expenses necessary to raise a child based on your income as parents. It is for that reason alimony is included as a portion of income along with other factors such as the number of overnights you spend with your child each year and any special needs your child may have.
Depending on the amount of alimony received, it is possible the amount of child support received may be lower. Conversely, if you pay more alimony, you may pay less child support. It is also important to note the guidelines take into account pre-existing child support orders from another relationship and/or alimony orders from a previous relationship.
Determining Your Alimony Payments
There are several types of alimony ordered by New Jersey Courts. During your divorce proceedings, the judge might order pendente lite, which exists as a measure to support a spouse during the divorce process, in other words, until the Judgment of Divorce is entered.
Once you are divorced, a person may receive one of four different types of alimony. Limited Duration is for a defined period of time which is usually based on the length of the marriage. Rehabilitative Alimony is also for defined period of time during which a spouse will learn new skills that allow him or her to become financially independent.
If your spouse supported you financially during schooling, the judge might award Reimbursement Alimony. For example, if your spouse paid for rent and your medical school tuition, but your divorce begins just before you start working, you will likely need to reimburse them.
Lastly, you might be awarded Open Duration Alimony. This type of alimony is usually only awarded if the marriage lasted longer than 20 years or the spouse receiving alimony is disabled.
Determining Your Child Support Payments
It’s best to work with an experienced divorce lawyer if your divorce might involve alimony and child support payments. Your lawyer can help you determine how much alimony you will likely need to pay, and how that affects any child support payments.
Child support also depends on factors like the number of overnights each parent has, how many children you have, previous child support payment orders, both parent’s incomes and how much an intact family would spend on their children in a similar financial situation.
It’s important to remember that your ex-spouse’s new partner’s income will not affect your child support payment calculation if your spouse remarries.
If your financial situation drastically changes, you can apply to the court to change your child support payments.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are considering divorce and have children, it’s best to consult with a lawyer before signing any official agreements. Particularly if you are a stay-at-home parent or are underemployed to care for a family member, you should seek legal advice about alimony and how that might affect child support in New Jersey.
The team at Lyons & Associates, P.C., is knowledgeable about all aspects of divorce in NJ. Call our law firm today at (908) 575-9777 or contact us online to set a date for your free consultation and learn more about how alimony and child support works in New Jersey.