Edison Township Child Support Lawyer

Child support is the responsibility of both parents. It includes ensuring the child has enough to meet their basic needs such as wholesome food, clothes to wear, and a safe home. 

In New Jersey, there are specific rules contained in the state’s Child Support Guidelines that prescribe the method for determining the amount a non-custodial parent must pay in child support. While the calculations may seem predetermined, courts consider many factors in determining child support obligations.

An Edison Township child support lawyer can assist you in evaluating the child support obligations you or your spouse may have to your children and can represent both you and your children’s interests in court.

What is Child Support?

Child support is a system where a non-custodial parent provides money to the custodial parent to share the expenses incurred by the child. Child support payments are intended, in theory, to provide funds for a child’s food, shelter, clothing, transportation, education, entertainment, and unreimbursed healthcare expenses.

Though these are the basic provisions in a child support agreement, a court can impose further obligations on a non-custodial parent to provide funds to support other needs of a child if sufficient cause can be shown.

Child Support Guidelines in Edison Township

New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines consider several factors including:

  • The number of children
  • The incomes of both parents
  • The cost of childcare services
  • Healthcare expenses for the children
  • Previous child support orders
  • Alimony payments
  • Mandatory pension contributions
  • Child-related responsibilities that each parent undertakes
  • An amount prescribed by the guidelines is presumed to be the correct amount. Either parent can, however, challenge the award in court and, if they can show a good reason for the modification, the award may be adjusted. Courts may be reluctant to make such modifications and may be even more reluctant to modify them to be lower than prescribed by the guidelines.

    Process of Collecting Payments

    Most frequently, child support payments are collected through the Probation Department by a wage garnishment mechanism. Through this system, the Probation Department may contact the employer of the parent who shall be paying child support directly. 

    They may inform the employer that a certain amount of the parent’s wages is to be set aside for child support and sent directly to them. They may then properly disburse the funds to the parent collecting the child support payments.

    This mechanism is intended to create a system where the separated parents are not forced to interact with one another and where child support payments will not be inadvertently or maliciously withheld. 

    How Can One Parent Pay Directly?

    Through this system, the Probation Department will have a record of all child support payments. However, if desired, one parent can also directly pay child support to the other, although this is much rarer. 

    If a paying parent fails to make the necessary child support payments, the Probation Department may take enforcement action.

    Expected Duration of Payments

    In Edison Township, child support payments do not necessarily terminate when a child reaches 18. For example, if a child is enrolled in a continuous, full-time college education program, payments may continue through the child’s graduation. In certain circumstances, arrangements may be made for a portion of child support payments to go directly to a college-aged child.

    Talk to an Edison Township Child Support Attorney

    If you have children and are separating or divorcing your partner, child support may be among the most important issues you and your children face. Ensuring the court determines a proper award can be difficult, even with the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines in place.

    A compassionate Edison Township child support attorney can work with you to ensure that all aspects of your circumstances are considered in creating a child support agreement. If you are facing a child support dispute contact an attorney today for a free consultation.