New Jersey courts use a range of factors to calculate child support. The state aims to ensure that both parents contribute financial to their children’s well-being.
Understanding the elements that affect child support calculations can assist with post-divorce preparation and budget planning.
Income of both parents
The court considers each parent’s gross income, including wages, bonuses and other sources. Distribution of child support responsibilities depends on a full assessment of the financial standing of both parents.
Child custody arrangements
If one parent has primary custody, the noncustodial parent typically bears a greater financial responsibility. State guidelines consider the number of overnights each parent has with the child. The judge will adjust support calculations accordingly.
Beyond basic financial contributions, calculations in New Jersey also consider additional child-related expenses. This category includes healthcare, education and activities.
When it comes to sports, for example, parents spend anywhere from $200 per season for track to nearly $2,600 for ice hockey. The court decides how to distribute extracurricular costs fairly as part of the overall support plan.
Number of children
State guidelines recognize that supporting multiple children incurs higher costs. Parents with more children tend to face increased child support obligations.
Standard of living
Maintaining a child’s standard of living is a key consideration. The court strives to provide consistency with the child’s experience when the parents lived together.
By addressing these factors, the court aims to establish child support obligations that are fair, equitable and in the best interest of the child.