In the aftermath of a divorce involving a child, it is important to make sure that the child is provided for. New Jersey child support determination can become contentious, which is why an attorney can help. A New Jersey child support lawyer can argue to the court whether or not a deviation from the guidelines is necessary if the child, for example, is on a travel sports team and has transportation costs with the sports team, and a ton of equipment costs. They can make those arguments to ensure that the child support obligation is going to be fair. Contact an experienced child support lawyer who can advocate for you.Role of Guidelines in Child Support Determination
There are guidelines in place to assist with New Jersey child support determination. These were established through the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, requiring each state to have its own child support guidelines as the condition of approval of the State’s Plan. The Guidelines must be made available to all persons in the State and it is the State’s duty to set those child support amounts.From that directive, the New Jersey Supreme Court established the child support guidelines and the administrative office of the courts reviews them bi-annually. The guidelines are applied to all actions for child support which include pendente lite support which is prior to the judgment of divorce.Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
The Guidelines included in intergovernmental support called Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”) which outlines how child support is established if one parent lives in New Jersey and another lives in Pennsylvania.
It is established in domestic violence cases, foster care cases, divorce cases, non-dissolution cases if the parents were never married and there is a child, temporary assistance for needy families, and kinship legal guardian cases.Determining the Conditions of a Child Support Agreement
The parties can come to a Consent Agreement in regards to the amount of child support, without even involving the Court. They are the ones that understand their financial situation and if they can come to an agreement regarding that, the court does not have to get involved. However, if the parties fail to come to an agreement, the court does get involved and that is when the Guidelines are applied.Under What Circumstances Can a Person Receive Child Support Before a Final Settlement or a Court Date in Their Case?
Temporary child support before a final settlement is called pendente lite. This can be accomplished by either a motion to the court submitting the financial documentation, or through an agreement between the parties that can continue through the final settlement. In essence, the parties can agree upon a certain amount until the child or children are emancipated or another number based on the negotiations between the parties while trying to create a final settlement.Guidelines and Child Support Determination
The guidelines used in New Jersey child support determination do take into consideration what an average family would spend on their child(ren) in an intact household, so the child support is to cover the share of certain expenses in the custodial parent's household, i.e., housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, and unreimbursed healthcare plus $250 for a child per year and certain miscellaneous items.
The guidelines take both parents’ income and find that a percentage that an average family would spend on their children. That is why the guidelines consider so many different factors when trying to create the actual child support number.
If good cause is shown that the guidelines have deviated, the parties and the court can claim that this amount is not fair and that this is not appropriate in the situation, and they would be required to come to a new number and a new agreement regarding how much child support is going to be paid.Value of an Attorney
An attorney will be familiar with the guidelines and their importance when it comes to New Jersey child support determination. They know what documentation is needed and where to look for this documentation. They will know where to look if someone is hiding income. They can determine if someone is voluntarily becoming underemployed, and they know all the strategies that people will try in an attempt to modify their child support obligation in their favor.Contact a New Jersey divorce lawyer today.