If you are getting divorced, you may be wondering about child support and how it works. Read on to learn more about some of the most frequently asked questions about child support in New Jersey.
How is child support determined by a New Jersey judge?
The goal of child support is to ensure that the child’s standard of living is the same as, or better than, before the divorce. In order to make a decision about child support, a judge will take the following factors into account:
- The financial status of both parents
- Who has physical custody of the child
- The incomes, debts, and assets of each parent
- Each parent’s earning capacity
- Each parent’s work history
- The child’s needs
- The child’s age/health
- The child’s education
- The cost of providing for the child
What if my ex refuses to pay child support?
It is illegal to refuse to pay child support. If your ex refuses to pay court-ordered child support, you may need an enforcement. New Jersey courts can enforce payments in the following ways:
- Income withholding
- Credit reporting
- Tax fund offset
- Seizure of assets
- License suspension
- Passport denial
- Court enforcement
- Civil awards/settlements
Can child support be modified?
If you can prove to the court that a major and permanent change has occurred, you can likely modify your child support payments. Some reasons to increase or decrease payments include:
- One parent lost their home
- One parent contracted a serious illness or sustained a serious injury
- The child sustained a serious injury or contracted a medical condition
- One parent took a significant pay cut or lost their job
- There was a change in federal income tax laws
- One parent cohabitates with another person or has remarried
- One parent received a job promotion or came into a large sum of money
When do payments end?
Generally, child support can end when the child reaches the age of emancipation. In New Jersey, this age is 18. That being said, child support can be terminated early or extended longer depending on the situation. Some reasons to terminate child support include:
- The child no longer lives with the parents
- The child enlisted in the military
- The child is now financially independent and has a full-time job
- The child is now married
- The child is pregnant or has children of their own
On the other hand, child support can be extended past the age of emancipation in many cases. For example, child support will typically be extended if the child decides to pursue higher education.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.