Child Support

Every child is entitled to receive appropriate support from their parents. It is vital that you protect your child and yourself and obtain the appropriate amount of support. Call the Law Office of Steven H. Wolff today to have your case evaluated.
New Jersey has a child support formula called the Child Support Guidelines that formulate what the appropriate figure of child support is. Whether you are in Morris, Sussex, Warren, Bergen, Passaic, Union, Monmouth, Somerset, Hudson, Mercer and Ocean County you will most likely use the Child Support Guidelines in calculating the appropriate figure of support.

You need a lawyer who knows the Child Support Guidelines and how to make them work for you.
Do you pay health insurance? Do you have another child? Did the other parent receive a increase in salary? These are some of the many questions we help our client’s answer in preparing their child support figures. Many people do not even know what they can use to increase, or decrease their child support obligation. We do!
It does not matter if you are married, divorced or never were married to the other parent of your child. New Jersey child support guidelines attempt to simulate the percentage of parental net income that is expended on children in intact families. Even though the appendix to the guidelines acknowledges that expenditures of two households that are separated or divorced are different than an intact family unit, it states that children should not be forced to live in poverty because of a family interruption and should be given the same opportunities as intact families with similar financial means.
The Guidelines themselves are not final, but in New Jersey, the child support guidelines must be used by the Courts as a rebuttable presumption to create and adjust child support orders. Therefore, a child support award based on the guidelines is assumed to be correct unless a party proves to a Court that the use of the guidelines is inappropriate.
The below expenses are included in child support. In other words, the parent who is receiving child support (payee parent) is expected to pay the following expenses from the child support that is paid to them by the paying parent (payer parent):

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • Unreimbursed health care up to and including $250 per child per year
  • Entertainment
  • Miscellaneous Items

The below expenses, if incurred, will be added to the basic child support obligation. Therefore, in addition to paying the basic child support according to the guidelines, the Payer parent will have to contribute to the following expenses:

  • Work-related child care.
  • Health insurance for the child.
  • Predictable and recurring unreimbursed health care expenses in excess of $250.00 per year per child.
  • Other expenses approved by the Court.

The following factors may require an adjustment (often a reduction) to the payer parent’s basic child support obligation:
Other legal dependents: For example, if a payer parent has other children from another relationship that could cause a reduction in his or her child support obligation.
Child support orders for other children: For example, if the payer parent has a child support order for a child in another relationship that would cause a reduction in his or her child support obligation.

Social Security benefits paid to or for the child: A child‘s Social Security benefits greatly reduce or eliminate a payer parent’s child support obligation.
Adjustments for overnight parenting time: the more overnight parenting time a payer parent has, the more of a reduction in their child support obligation. If the non-custodial parent has the children less than 28% of the time(less than 104 overnights), the Court uses a sole parenting worksheet to calculate a child support obligation. On the other hand, if the non custodial parent has the children over 28% of the time (more than 104 overnights), the Court uses the shared parenting worksheet which will cause a greater reduction in a payer parent’s child support obligation.

Not every case is determined by the Child Support Guidelines. For families with combined incomes of $187,200 per year the Court will apply the guidelines up to $187,200 of income and then the Court may supplement the guideline award with a discretionary amount to make sure the children are being supported in accordance with the parties’ financial circumstances.