Information on Child Support
In the event that a marriage comes to an end, parents will need to determine how to care for their child amicably and just in a different role of working together than they previously shared. Child support is also an important issue for those that were never married but share a child together, and even though they were not married it does not free the father of obligations. This really is a unique situation which will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Both parties can be required to pay support, even if one of them has more parental rights than the other.
Some couples are able to settle their differences and agree upon how they want to go about dealing with support payments. This is not always the case, as divorce can be a heated situation and many parents cannot agree on who should pay how much. The court will need to be involved in either situation, but for those that have determined the payments together it is likely the court will not be required for as much intervention. These topics are important to deal with thoroughly; even if that means that the case needs to be taken to the court. The results of these can have a large effect and will remain for years to come.
Factors to Consider
When the judge is reviewing how they believe support should be awarded they will review several items, such as:
- Each parents financial position
- The financial needs of the child; day care, medical, insurance, etc.
- The amount of time spent with each parent
- The standard of living for the child prior to the separation or divorce
- If alimony has been awarded
The court looks to alter the situation for a child as little as possible and keep their life normal throughout these instances. The best interests of the child will often take precedence when it comes to making a decision. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines can be found on the website of the New Jersey Courts. Depending on the
custody child support can differ, though it does not mean that a parent with less parental responsibility cannot also be held responsible financially. The parent that has sole custody will be the main person caring for the needs of the child. If parents share custody then support can vary greatly, but will likely be shared between the two, though not necessarily in equal ways.
Support can be given in a number of ways. Most often it will be a recurring monthly payment until the child comes of age, and at this point you will need to petition the court to have it terminated. After reaching 18 it is likely that it will stop, but in some scenarios, such as a child attending college, support may be extended to cover this period of time. Support can also be terminated if the child becomes an active member of the military, is emancipated through the court or is adopted by someone else, releasing the parent of financial duties. The actual amount of support can be estimated by using an online calculator, or by having an attorney review the details. Items such as total earned income, alimony paid or received, health insurance, non-taxable income and other items will need to be considered to give a more precise idea of what this amount will be.
Modifying an Order
If you are currently dealing with setting the terms of child support, it is important that you make every effort to find a resolution that will work for you now and later on. For those that have already gone through a divorce or have dealt with matters of child custody and support with an individual they share a child with, there may be the need for a change to be made. This is not a clear cut issue and will need to be presented to the court. You and the other parent may be able to draft a plan together and give it to a judge to approve or deny, or if you cannot agree together then you can still move forward on your own. The judge will want to see that there has been a significant change in circumstances that warrants the need for support terms to be modified It is important that a change be made legally, rather than just between you and the other parent. This is also true for making the choice to change payments on your own and if this occurs then legal action may be taken against you. For a parent that is failing to pay, enforcement of a court order can be sought.
Child support is an extremely important issue that needs to be put in capable hands. The outcome of it has a significant influence on the lives of the child. Parents are also put in an important role and if they are not given adequate assistance, it can be challenging to give their children the life they want and deserve. Insufficient child support payments can also add stress, when a parent is shouldering the majority of the responsibility for the child already, and additionally has to continually worry about how to make ends meet. If you are looking for a certain outcome in this matter, turn to a Jackson divorce lawyer that can help assist you to find the resolution you and your child need.