Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

Monmouth County Process of Child Support Payment

In New Jersey, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their child. It does not matter if the parents were married or not, and the law does not discriminate based on gender. The Monmouth County process of child support payment is meant for any type of once shared custody pairing. 

Child support payments can be a financially life-altering situation for many people, regardless of whether they are paying the support or expecting the support. By speaking with a distinguished child support lawyer, you can get a better understanding of the process to obtain or pay child support payments.

Process of Obtaining Support

The first step would be to file for child support, but before child support can be established, paternity must be determined. If the child was born during a marriage, the husband is the presumed father. If the parents were not married, they can choose to sign a Certificate of Parentage. If either parent requests it, they can also file a complaint to have a DNA test done.

After paternity has been established, a child support lawyer will need to show what each parent owes as an obligation to the child. The noncustodial parent is the parent that the child does not primarily live with and usually has visitation rights instead. The custodial parent is the person the child predominately lives with. The noncustodial parent is expected to pay the custodial parent a monthly child support payment.

Guidelines for Aiding One's Kids

The New Jersey court system has set up a helpful chart that shows the basic payment setup, but this is only a general guide. There is a calculator that a person can use to estimate their child support payments.

Recently, the law was changed that child support payments will continue until the child turns 19 years old. However, this can end earlier if both parents agree and the court approves of the agreement, or if the child support order itself has a different end date.

What if a Child is a Legal Adult Still in Need of Support?

Child support payments can also go beyond the child turning 19 if the child is still enrolled in high school, full-time college, or some other post-secondary educational system. Another reason for extending the support is if the child has special needs that require additional support, or any other extraordinary circumstances that the court believes makes the extension necessary.

Steps to Calculating Child Support

The state has an eight-step process that it uses to calculate support. The first step is calculating the fair income of both parents. This step is at issue when one parent is willfully not working or has other income (for instance, lottery winnings).

The court will determine what taxes and deductions apply. After this step, the court will add the net income of both parents and use the chart listed above to determine the amount owed by both parents. This total amount is then split by the amount earned by each parent, and usually, the parent earning more will pay more. Another adjustment is based on the amount of visitation or if parenting time is equally split.

There may be other expenses included in the child support payment, such as health insurance or child care. Likewise, the amount can be decreased depending on the circumstances, such as if there are other child support payments the parent has to make.

Hiring a Lawyer

While the child support guidelines are built to make sure that the children are adequately provided for, they also make sure that a parent is not paying too much or receiving too little child support. It may be critical to begin the Monmouth County process of child support payment with the help of legal representation. 

After going through each of these steps the court will award the final support order. A lawyer can better explain each step in detail and whether any of the special circumstances may apply in your situation.