William J. Leininger, PC


New Jersey Child Support

1) How is child support calculated in New Jersey?

New Jersey has "Child Support Guidelines" that apply a percentage to the non-custodial parent's income. These Guidelines are currently under review, and we anticipate a completely new set of Guidelines to take effect within the next few months.

2) How do I calculate the amount of child support that must be paid?

The Family Part of the Superior Court has free child support worksheets available in the Clerk's office, along with instructions. You must know the net pay, after subtracting all mandatory deductions, of the person who will be paying the child support. This amount is factored into a table that shows a child support range based on the number of children to be supported. You can estimate the approximate child support amount:
* for one child  	21% of take home pay
* two children  	33%
* three children 	42%
* four children  	47%
* five children  	51%
* six children  	56%

3) What if this amount does not cover expenses?

The court sometimes will add to the child support order a requirement that the paying parent contribute toward day-care expenses or provide health insurance. In addition, the Court may make an award of alimony, or order one spouse to make a contribution toward other costs (special educational needs, or other extraordinary expenses, for instance) in addition to the child support. Please discuss these issues with your attorney. If possible, bring a copy of your weekly or monthly budget of living expenses to show your attorney.

4) When we were divorced, the support was sufficient, but since the children have become teenagers, I cannot make ends meet. What can be done?

We can file a motion asking the Court to modify your original judgment based on a substantial change in circumstances. The important thing to keep in mind is that the Court is primarily concerned with what is best for the children; the so-called "best interests" test.

5) My ex-spouse owes me substantial amounts of unpaid child support. Can I enforce the Judgment of Divorce provisions regarding payment of child support?

You can have your attorney make a Motion to Enforce Litigant's Rights application and ask for a wage execution, attorney's fees and other potential sanctions.


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