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
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
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.