Hackensack Child Support Lawyer

Divorce is many things: the end of a marriage; a stressful upheaval in a family; maybe the loss of a family home. But divorce, also, is very much a financial consideration: how much money might I hope to receive in alimony? How am I going to afford to pay for groceries, the monthly mortgage and cover the insurance co-pay? Will I receive child support?

Child support: if you have children, you may be in the position of receiving child support from your former spouse or co-parent— or paying your former spouse or co-parent child support. Learn more by speaking with a Hackensack child support lawyer at our firm. Our seasoned family law attorneys are eager to help.

How is Child Support Determined in New Jersey?

Unless a set of parents earn an equal or a similar amount of income and share a 50/50 custodial parenting split (often referred to as joint custody), child support will be ordered by the Court from one parent to another.

New Jersey uses Child Support Guidelines to determine how much child support one parent may pay the other (you may actually read all of the child support guidelines and worksheets at the Court’s official website here).

Child support in Hackensack is based on a variety of factors:

Income

W-2 income, 1099 income, overtime, commission, bonuses, and investment incomes: all income streams are considered when figuring out how much each parent makes. With the U.S. Department of Labor estimating 63% of American households who have children feature two working parents, there’s a good chance there’s more than one revenue stream of income.

Taxes and Deductibles

Unfortunately, very few (with exceptions) deductibles are permitted, according to the guidelines. However, it is ultimately up to the Court to decide what the right amount of taxes are.

Combined Net Income

Here, we come to the totals per parent. In determining child support, this is the amount that will factor most significantly. The key to look for here is income disparity; does one parent make significantly more than the other? The net income, when combined here, will be considered by the Court in deciding upon the basic amount of child support.

Deciding on the Split Percentage of Basic Child Support

If both co-parents have a 50%/50% split of net income (similar earnings), they may very well wind up splitting the basic child support. If one co-parent is, say, dependent upon welfare or unable to work due to a disability, the other parent may pay 100% of basic child support. In most cases, however, the determination falls somewhere in the middle of a 50%/50% and 100% take of the pot.

Deductions for Parenting Time

If a non-custodial parent incurs parenting time expenses, such as airfare to visit a child, hotel costs, etc., the Court may consider this in calculating child support. The amount decided upon may be significant or nominal, depending upon the number of parenting time overnights each parent has.

Special Factors

Health insurance, daycare, extracurricular activities— the Court may consider all aspects of costs related to the health and happiness of rearing a minor. Additionally, some special deductions (alimony orders, government benefits) may be considered here.

How Does Child Support Work in New Jersey?

After consideration, the Court will arrive at what’s known as a Final Support Order. This will be the right and legal amount of child support as viewed by the Court. If a co-parent, their Hackensack child support attorney, or another party wants to suggest an amount different from the Court’s calculations, they must present the Court with their reasoning as to reject or amend the Court’s calculations.

The New Jersey Child Support Program has a direct deposit program, which, much like receiving a paycheck directly into your checking account, makes it easy for the co-parent receiving child support to access those much-needed funds.

Also, the New Jersey Child Support Enforcement Program, under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Courts, is tasked with enforcing child support orders. (You can download the Court’s guide here.) This Program locates parents ordered to pay support, enforces unpaid child support obligations, and collects support payments through a variety of methods, which may include:

  • Income withholding
  • Enforcement hearings
  • Bench warrants
  • Suspended driver’s, occupational, or recreational licenses
  • Seizure of cash or cash-equivalent assets in bank accounts
  • Intercept federal or state tax refunds
  • Report judgments
  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Liens attached to property and assets
  • Seizure of proceeds from lawsuits
  • Passport denial
  • Lottery interception

Why Do You Need a Hackensack Child Support Attorney?

Whether you’re the parent who will receive child support or the parents who will pay it out (as New Jersey considers child support to be a parental obligation and a child’s right until emancipation, it figures in almost every divorce), you will want a Hackensack child support lawyer— a family attorney who understands child support— to help you navigate the system.

A qualified legal professional will help you address your needs: am I receiving enough child support to adequately pay for the children? Do I need to petition the Court for more? Am I paying too much child support? Are monies intended for the welfare of my children being squandered by my ex-spouse?

Additionally, life circumstances change. Have I lost my job? Changed careers? Taken on a huge expense? Experienced a windfall (say, a big bonus or raise at work)? These factors will contribute to whether you wish to utilize a lawyer to either attempt to increase the amount of money you receive in child support or decrease the amount of money you pay.

Finally, it’s worth remembering in most cases child support ends when the child turns 19 years old and is no longer a minor in the Court’s view. However, in some circumstances (most usually, say, attending college), child support may last until the child is the age of 23. Rarely does it go beyond that unless a disability is considered.

At O’Cathain Law Group, we’re all about moving forward, and child support is a tool that helps you do that. It’s an obligation, a right, and in some sense, a privilege to both pay for and receive funds that assist your child as they navigate childhood on the way to becoming an adult member of society. Whether you are worried about receiving child support or paying child support, a knowledgeable legal professional can help.

Call, fill out the intake form, or email a dedicated Family Law paralegal to speak with an attorney at O’Cathain Law Group.