The purpose of child support is to ensure that the financial needs of your children are being met by you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
But it's important that you understand that child support is about more than just money.
Many parents think the purpose of child support is to make sure they have enough money after they’re divorced to pay for the items their kids need.
But that’s only partially correct.
Divorce is hard on your children. The fighting and the stress you’re going through can really take a toll on them.
Soon you will no longer be husband and wife, but you’ll always be mom and dad.
Child support shows your kids you still love them and care about their well-being.
NJ has three main principles behind its Child Support Guidelines:
Child support is a continuing obligation of both parents as the children belong to both of them; and
Children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents and not simply the parent who has custody; and
Children should not become the economic victims of divorce.
When it comes to New Jersey child support, it is pretty clear that you and your spouse must remain as responsible for your children financially after you're divorced as you were while you were married.
There are a few things you need to know about the challenges of determining child support in NJ:
While there is a child support guideline, it only represents the minimum, it doesn’t include all the expenses required to raise a child, and it isn’t applicable in all situations.
2024 will be a "good news, bad news" year for parents as while inflation has returned to more manageable levels, mortgage interest rates continue to remain elevated, making housing children even more expensive in the Garden State.
This topic has less to do with child support laws or payments and more to do with money, negotiation, and doing what’s in the best interest of your kids.
There is more than meets the eye on this issue and in the majority of cases, this subject is much too complex for you to try to resolve on your own.
Using our extensive financial knowledge of the complex matters of child support in NJ, we’ll help you and your spouse determine a child support amount that accurately reflects your lives as parents and the specialized needs of your children.
One that covers all ordinary, extraordinary, and future expenses.
We’ll talk about who your children are, what they like to do, and what it will take to make sure they’re getting what they need and deserve. Not just what the formula says you have to pay so they can “get by.”
Work through specialized cases like joint custody child support in which you share in the parenting time and care of your children equally. As joint custody child support has its own unique method for determination. We’ll also explore arrangements in which the children spend a majority of their time with one parent as this, too, has its own special approach.
Help you negotiate any issues of disagreement and create an agreement you both find fair and equitable regarding the support of your children.
Make sure you and your spouse not only come to an agreement that you both find to be fair but also one that minimizes tax issues, avoids penalties, and improves cash flow whenever possible.
Because no two situations are alike.
Your children are unique and your child support agreement should reflect that, too.
Why be forced to accept a child support order dictated by a judge in family court when you can create an agreement that works for your children now and into the future instead?
If you want to make decisions as parents, not as litigants, do what’s best for your kids and mediate your divorce with Equitable Mediation.
Joe Dillon, MBA is a professional divorce mediator and founder of Equitable Mediation Services. Joe is passionate about helping couples avoid the destruction of attorney-driven litigation and specializes in helping couples resolve the issues required for divorce -peacefully, fairly and cost-effectively. When he’s not mediating, you can find him exercising, cooking, and watching Cubs baseball.