Child support is just as advertised – it is money to provide for the support and care of a child. This is for things like food, clothing, heat, housing, and all other things that a child need to be safe and well-cared for. Both parents are responsible for providing for a child, regardless of whether the children were born within a marriage or not. Child support is also a right that belongs to the child.
What are the Child Support Guidelines?
In New Jersey, the courts utilize the Child Support Guidelines to calculate the amount of support to be paid. This is as set in New Jersey Court Rule 5:6, and there is additional information including the actual guidelines and basic child support schedule within Appendix IX. There is a rebuttable presumption that the amount set forth in the Guidelines will be the amount of child support awarded, though the court may deviate for good cause. The Guidelines also are used as a starting point in high-income cases.
What Is Included in Child Support?
Parents often have questions as to what is covered by child support. According to the Court Rules, child support covers costs such as clothing, food, a child’s share of the shelter expenses (rent/mortgage, electric, heat, water, etc.), personal care items, entertainment expenses, transportation expenses and up to $250 in unpaid or uncovered medical expenses. For more information on what is considered in the Child Support Guidelines, refer to Appendix IX-A of the New Jersey Rules of Court. NJ Court Rules IX-A
Sole Parenting vs. Shared Parenting Worksheet
When calculating child support, one of the factors to consider is the number of overnights the child spends with each parent. For there to be shared parenting as defined within the Child Support Guidelines, each parent must have a minimum of 105 overnights with the child. This means that for there to be shared parenting, it does not need to be a 50/50 split.
In determining whether sole or shared parenting time should be used, an experienced, family lawyer should be consulted.