Child Support

Child Support and College Expenses

Child Support Attorneys Morris County, NJ

Helping Families across Randolph, Denville, Hanover, Morristown, and Morris County

Any time the parents of children divorce or dissolve their legal relationship, one of the most important issues that will need to be decided is that of child support.

While the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines were developed in order to provide uniformity and fairness in child support settlements across New Jersey, these guidelines only determine how much one parent may expect to pay, or receive. They do not determine other critical aspects such as how exactly child support payments are paid or received, or whether or not a child’s college or post-secondary education will be accounted for as part of the child support agreement.

At Jacobs Berger, our firm seeks to provide a unique approach to resolving family law conflicts of all kinds, one which many other firms do not offer. We encourage all of our clients to pursue mediation and/or negotiation before trial litigation, as we believe the most important part of these family law and divorce issues is maintaining the stability of your family, and the relationships and financial security you have worked to achieve. However, should your partner prove intractable in finding constructive solutions in these manners, we are also prepared to aggressively and effectively present your case in family law court, and help you ensure that any agreement you reach is fair to you, and properly takes into account you and your children’s unique needs and concerns.

By applying this approach when deciding your child support agreement, we can help you to constructively find solutions which plan for you and your children’s financial future, while simultaneously preventing conflict between you and your future co-parent. The result of this process is a much more stable and healthy home-life for you, and most importantly, your children.

Contact our firm today to discuss your child support agreement, your options moving forward, and how to best create a plan that meets the current and future needs of your children in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Denville Child Support Lawyers Calculate Child Support

As previously noted, the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines have strict determinations for how much any one parent can expect to pay, or receive, as part of their child support settlement. When calculating child support, many different factors are taken into account, including:

  • The financial status of both parents including income, bonuses, overtime, commissions, and assets
  • The agreed-upon Child Custody and Parenting Time arrangement
  • The age and number of children in the family
  • The cost of child care
  • The cost of health care for the children, including the cost of coverage and un-reimbursed expenses
  • The tax status of both parents, including deductions and filings
  • If there is an existing child support obligation from a previous marriage

While New Jersey has implemented the use of state-mandated guidelines, there are many subtleties to using the guidelines that can drastically alter the resulting child support award/obligation. Depending on a family’s financial situation, child support obligations or awards may exceed the guideline calculations and require fact-specific legal analysis to determine appropriate support.

If you are interested in obtaining an estimate of how much you can expect to pay, or receive, as a part of your Morris County child support settlement, you can view the NJChildSupport.Org guidelines calculator here.

How Long Will Child Support Last?

Hanover Child Support Lawyers Discuss Support Termination

While the total amount of child support a divorcing parent can expect to pay or receive is strictly determined by law, the duration of those payments is something that the parents will need to negotiate and decide.

Thanks to the February 2017 NJ Child Support Law Change outlined in S-1046/A-2721, all child support obligations now automatically terminate when the child reaches the age of 19, unless the parents specify otherwise in their child support agreement. This is true for all child support agreements signed before this date, and after, so if you are concerned about a previously agreed-upon child support settlement ending when your child turns 19, you should view our child support modifications page for more information.

In addition to this change, all New Jersey child support obligations automatically terminate if the child marries, or enters into military service. Further, no child support agreement can be extended beyond a child’s 23rd birthday.

College Expenses and Child Support

Madison Child Support Attorneys Help You to Plan for Your Child’s Education

Owing to the fact that many children begin to pursue post-secondary education around the age of 19, and considering the cost of college and university education in New Jersey, it is extremely important that parents plan for these expenses as a part of their child support agreement.

If you believe your children will attend college, university, or any other kind of post-secondary educational program, you will want to establish a later child support termination date than the new legal standard of 19. This can require not only negotiation with your former partner, but may also necessitate consultation with financial planners in order to gain a better understanding of your individual finances, how much your child’s education may cost, and the best ways for each parent to account for this cost.

The child support attorneys of Jacobs Berger are prepared to help you create a realistic and fair financial plan when it comes to your child’s education, and ensure that your child support agreement accurately reflects this plan and the financial needs of both parents. Speak with our experienced attorney team regarding your child support agreement, and how you can plan for your child’s college education.

If your spouse is refusing to contribute to your child’s college expenses, there are a number of cases in New Jersey which have begun to set a precedent for when a parent is obligated to contribute to post-secondary education, the amount they are expected to contribute, and the method for making these contributions. As the type of expenses categorized as “college” expenses has evolved into a highly complex and highly litigated area of child support law, it is important to have knowledgeable and up-to-date legal representation on your side when deciding such an important issue.

How Is Child Support Paid Between the Parents?

Randolph Child Support Attorneys Create Payment Plans

Unless the divorcing parents specify otherwise in their child support agreement, the default method of paying and receiving child support will be through the child support probation department via wage garnishment. While this arrangement can be beneficial to both parties for a variety of reasons, there also a variety of reasons why this type of arrangement may not be the best for either of the parents involved.

If this default child support payment arrangement does not work for you, it is possible through negotiation to arrange for child support payments to be made through the probation department without wage garnishment, or for child support payments to be made directly between the parents. For more information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of paying child support through the probation department, you can view our blog on this topic here, or, you can view our blog regarding the advantages and disadvantages of paying child support directly between the parents here.

If, for whatever reason, you are interested in one particular method of child support payment, discuss your options for securing this particular arrangement with our Randolph, NJ child support attorneys today.

Child Support Modifications

Morris Township Child Support Modification Lawyers

Since whatever child support agreement you ultimately reach during your divorce will be based on the circumstances of the parents and the children involved at the time of the divorce, it often can become necessary to modify a child support agreement when those circumstances change.

A child support modification can be pursued by either the dependent parent, or the supporting parent depending on the exact circumstances at hand, and our law firm is prepared to guide and advise you throughout the child support modification process, and help you ensure the court takes into account your specific needs and concerns when making their ultimate judgement.

For more complete information regarding the child support modification process, which circumstances may warrant a child support modification, and how our attorneys can help you, you can view our child support modifications page here.

Contact Our Randolph Child Support Lawyers Today

The family law team of Jacobs Berger has extensive experience helping parents across Denville, Randolph, Hanover, Madison, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey to successfully reach fair and constructive child support agreements of all kinds.

Not only do we offer this unique approach of helping our clients to build successful foundations for their legal and parental futures, we also regularly work with mental health professionals and financial planners so that any and all of your needs during the-often-difficult divorce process can be met, and addressed.

Whether you are in the process of creating a child support agreement, or are in need of legal assistance during a child support modification proceeding, our attorneys are ready to begin working with you today. Contact our firm to schedule a confidential consultation with our family law team by contacting us online, or calling our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 718-7705.