The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines (“NJCSG”) are the bases for calculating child support in many cases. The NJCSG rely on extensive economic theories. However, here are a few general concepts:
They apply where both parents have combined net income of $187,200 per year (the threshold income changes periodically).
They apply to children who are not in college, and generally do not apply to children age 18 or older.
Courts may deviate from the amount of child support calculated under the NJCSG.
The NJCSG can be adjusted for the following items: predictable and reoccurring unreimbursed medical expenses, health care insurance premiums paid on behalf of a child(ren), work-related childcare expenses, the regular, overnight parenting time responsibilities of each party, and other expenses approved by the court.
Support obligations to children born of a different relationship may also impact the child support calculation.
Where the combined income exceeds $187,200 net per year, the court applies the NJCSG up to the threshold income then weighs factors to assess what additional child support is appropriate. The factors (NJSA 2A:34-23) are as follows:
Needs of the child;
Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent;
All sources of income and assets of each parent;
Earning ability of each parent, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, custodial responsibility for children including the cost of providing child care and the length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or experience for appropriate employment;
Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education;
Age and health of the child and each parent;
Income, assets and earning ability of the child;
Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others;
Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent; and
Any other factors the court may deem relevant.
Child support, whether based on the NJCSG or otherwise, generally ends when a child is emancipated. By current law emancipation occurs when a child turns age 19, unless that child is continuing with his/her education or other circumstances apply.
Jennifer and Erin have handled matters involving child support where the combined incomes fall within, and well in excess of, the NJCSG parameters, as well as numerous matters involving unique issues complicating the calculation of child support.