Understanding Child Support Obligations
For many individuals, determining child support can be a complex, frustrating process. Income is not the only factor. There are numerous other elements which might impact the determination of child support. When you need a skilled family law attorney on your side, schedule a consultation at the firm of Carol H. Gold, Esquire, L.L.C.
Determining Whether Child Support Is Owed
New legislation regarding child support became effective on Feb. 1, 2017. Child support obligations used to always continue until an order terminating the obligation was issued. This resulted in noncustodial parents paying child support past the time that they could have ended it. Now, in situations where child support is being administered through the County Probation Department, appropriate notice is given to the receiver of child support by the County Probation Department that child support will terminate when the child reaches 19 years of age, unless an application is made to extend child support, and such application is granted. The parent receiving child support can request that it continue under certain circumstances, such as if the child is attending college or vocational school full time or is disabled. This legislation puts the burden on the receiver of child support through the County Probation Department to request a continuation when a child turns 19, as opposed to the old legislation, which put the burden on the payer to file a motion to terminate child support.
Note that the new legislation terminating child support at age 19, if no application to extend child support is made and granted only applies to child support administered through the County Probation Department. This is because the County Probation Department provides notice to the receiver of child support that child support will cease at age 19 if an application to extend is not made and subsequently granted. The County Probation Department does not administer child support which is paid directly from the payor to the receiver of child support, and therefore there is no notice given from the County Probation Department to the receiver of child support regarding termination at age 19, if an application for an extension is not made and granted. As a result, child support paid directly from the payor to the receiver of child support does not automatically terminate when the child reaches 19 years of age. However, the payor may file a motion to terminate child support when the child turns 19 years old, or the receiver may file a motion to extend child support past the age of 19 years old. As set forth above, whether child support continues past 19 years old, is a fact-sensitive issue.
It should be noted that under the appropriate factual circumstances, child support can be terminated prior to a child’s 19th birthday. This is a fact-sensitive issue, which must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
What Factors Can Influence Child Support?
Generally, child support is determined through calculations pursuant to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. This is a complex formula, which takes into account many factors such as gross taxable and nontaxable income, mandatory retirement, union dues, prior child support orders, other dependents, government benefits, child’s health insurance, work-related daycare and number of overnights each parent has with the child. It is important to bring the necessary documents to court to ensure that you get the credit you deserve factored into the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines calculations.
It should also be noted that there are certain situations in which the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines do not apply, such as when college students live away from home.
Let Us Assist With Your Child Support Issues
For a child support modification or other family law matters, we encourage you to call a lawyer. The sooner we begin working on your case, the sooner we can develop a strong, effective strategy for you. We can be reached by calling 609-534-2778 or by filling out our online contact form.