Often clients come in asking what child support is supposed to cover and not cover. The paying parent can sometimes feel that they pay and do not know where their money is going, while the receiving parents’ feels that the money they are receiving cannot possibly support a child on what they are receiving.
Sadly, both parties are legitimate in their concerns. In an ideal world, parents can send bills to each other for all child related expenses and have those bills be paid. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world and it is very rare that this type of arrangements work long term.
To tackle those questions, it is important to understand what the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are and what was the purpose of them.
The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines were created to aid the New Jersey Courts in determining the amount of child support. These guidelines were created under the principle that parents spend a percentage of their combined income on raising their children. In addition to the parents’ income, factors such as health insurance credits, government benefits to and for children, and amount of overnights with non-custodial parent will influence the amount of child support ordered.
These guidelines are meant to cover the basic expenses incurred in raising the child. These expenses include fixed costs such as shelter and shelter-related costs, non-fixed costs such as food, clothing, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses. Other expenses such as child care expenses, extracurricular activities, private school education and camps may be additional costs and are no included in the child support calculation.
The amount that is paid is not supposed to cover the entire rent, food, etc. for the child, but instead the amount is to be used as a contribution to the custodial parent’s expenses for that child.
If you need information regarding your specific case, you can access it at: http://www.njchildsupport.org/.
If you have a smart-phone, you also have an option to download an app for NJ child support:
Relocating with your Children after Divorce in NJ Thinking of moving out of the state with your kids? If you and your children’s parent are not longer together, New Jersey is very strict regarding your rights to move across state lines with your mutual children. It is true that the United States Supreme Court has long recognized every citizen’s constitutionally protected right to travel. (See Jones v. Helms 452 U.S. 412 (1981)). However in New Jersey, parents also have a constitutionally protected right to visit with their children. These two fundamental principles become conflicted when a custodial parent wishes to relocate outside New Jersey. In order for the parent to be able to move, they have to either obtain the non-custodial parent’s written consent to move or they have to go through the courts. This has to be done prior to actually relocating, as the courts frown upon cases where a parent moved before consulting the non custodial parents. N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, prohibits the removal of children of divorced or separated parents from the State of New Jersey without Court authorization unless both parents consent to this move. There are also circumstances where the child is deemed old enough to consent to the move, however there is set determination as to what age that child has to be. When parents cannot both consent and the relocating parent is forced to make a motion or an application to the court, the court will be guided by the factors set out in Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001). In Baures, the New Jersey Supreme Court attempted to set out standards and procedures that trial courts have use when determining whether the custodial parent may relocate with the children outside the state. The moving party has the burden to first show that there is a “good faith reason for the move and that the child will not suffer from it”. In doing so, the Baures court listed twelve factors that should be considered, which include but not limited to the age of the children, a reasonable visitation schedule that the non custodial parent may have, comparison of the schools, family support, etc. Finally, once the custodial party has met it’s burden, the burden of proof shifts to the non-custodial parent to demonstrate to the court why this relocation would not be inimical to the child’s best interests. If you are considering relocating or if you would more information on the procedure and process, please contact our offices at 201-880-5563.
As divorce attorneys we find that our clients tend to be drained by the whole process. When we discuss what is going to happen during the divorce proceeding they often find themselves perplexed by the acrimonious nature of the events that are about to happen. We discuss child support, property settlement agreements, alimony, visitation, etc. Is there a better way? I think there is and that is mediation.
Mediation is the process in which two parties come together and work an arrangement with a impartial third party. When I suggest this to my clients I get the same question all the time. Can this work? My answer is a redundant yes. Many times we have seen families burden economically and mentally by divorce. A marriage is a commitment of two agreeing adults. If the adults can come again to work to their disagreements and work something out then they can avoid the cost and the mental anguish that the process of divorce can cause.
Realistic speaking this is not for everyone. There are times that couples differences overwhelm them and certainly this is where going through the divorce process is the better way. Mediation is for the couple that can work their differences and certainly and can consciously uncouple and remain civil to each other. Not everyone is going to get they want but certainly they can agree and control their personal situation.
For more information about mediation please contact our office at 201-880-5563 or visit us at www.ruizdoolanlaw.com for a consultation.