Paying New Jersey child support can be difficult to figure out alone, which is why you should contact a lawyer. If you are currently in the process of figuring out a child support arrangement, contact a skilled New Jersey child support attorney that can help.Duration of Child Support Obligation
New Jersey has codified a new law that changes how long a parent is to pay for child support. Previously, if there was an agreement, it lasted up until when that agreement ended, after college, or if they entered the military.
The more current legislation states, that if a child is younger than the age of 19, the child support obligation will terminate without an order from the court on the date the child either marries, dies or enters the military unless it is specifically noted in an agreement or an order that specifically modifies that law.
If the child is older than 19, a parent or child who is receiving that money may seek the continuation of child support if the child is still enrolled in high school or in another secondary program.
If the child is participating full-time in a post secondary education program if the child has a physical or mental disability that existed prior to the child reaching the age of 19 and requires continued support or other exceptional circumstances as may be approved by the court.
These exceptional circumstances may be approved by the court, although they have not been truly defined.Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome
Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome is when a party is attempting to avoid or decrease their child support obligation by claiming that they make less money than they made in the past, e.g., either when the family was intact or when the parties were together.
When a family law attorney uses the Guidelines to determine the child support obligation, the last three pay stubs, the most recent pay stubs or previous W2 form, or financials from the family business will be used. The court also reviews the Case Information Statement.
By reviewing all these financial documents, they are able to determine a person’s average income. If they are trying to use Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome, they are doing what is called divorce planning in an attempt to show they make less money than they actually do.How an Attorney Can Help
A family law attorney will know what the court will look at in regards to financial documentation, and will ensure that the court and the judge will take documentation into consideration. If somebody is trying to say that they make less money that they actually do, a family law attorney can help by getting a forensic accountant to discover inaccuracies of financials or provide documentation to the court through a motion to detail those issues.Support Modifications and Obligations
The Supreme Court in New Jersey actually decided a case in 1980 called Lepis v. Lepis. In that decision, it was determined that there must be a change in circumstances that are permanent, substantial and anticipated. A prima facie case showing a change in circumstance is necessary to get a modification of child support.
When it comes to paying New Jersey child support, support obligations for a step-parent are fact specific. If the step-parent, who is now married to the custodial or non-custodial parent has a child of their own (not with that custodial or non-custodial parent), the court will take their other children into consideration, giving credit for the financial situation of that step-parent when establishing their Guideline. Child support obligations for adoptive parents would be the same as they would be for biological parents.Finding a Lawyer
The topic of paying New Jersey child support can be complicated. Finding an attorney who focuses on the practice of family law is going to be key, because a general practitioner is not going to know the nuances of child support like a family law attorney. An experienced lawyer will know the case law regarding child support modifications. It is also important to work with someone who knows what is and is not included in child support. If you need help with your child support case, contact a New Jersey child support lawyer today.