New Jersey Alimony and Child Support Lawyer
Child support and alimony are related and significant issues in many divorces. Both parents are responsible for contributed toward the support of their children, and as based on the circumstances, one spouse may be required to pay alimony to the other spouse. The amount and duration of both alimony and child support are subject to negotiation or court order. This is important because capacity to earn and imputation of income directly impacts support determinations. An experienced divorce attorney will know all of the intricate alimony and child support laws necessary to achieve the right support award in your contested divorce. Before entering into any agreement on these issues, it is wise to engage the help of an experienced family law attorney to ensure that the amounts paid are fair.
Calculating Child Support
Like most states, New Jersey has created child support guidelines which determine each parent’s percentage contribution to the expenses of their children. For most families, this fairly rigid formula is used to determine child support amounts. Every case is different, but most courts rely upon the Child Support Guidelines developed by economists. The guidelines aim to provide uniformity in child support awards across the state. Deviations are sometimes allowed, particularly in cases where the parties earn significant incomes or have established a certain standard of living. Whether setting child support for the first time or modifying it based on changed circumstances, New Jersey’s child support formula takes into account:
- The number and ages of the children
- Both parents’ gross incomes
- Mandatory retirement contribution, union dues, the cost for the children’s health insurance
- Any child support obligations that a parent may have toward children from a different relationship
- Alimony payments made to a dependent spouse
In addition to a basic child support amount, parents are required to share in day care and health care expenses. Parents may also be required to share the costs of school and/or extracurricular activities.
Unlike with child support, New Jersey has not adopted a formula for determining alimony payments. However, the court will take 12 factors into consideration, including the length of the marriage, the ages of both parties, the marital standard of living and the disparity of income. Except in very rare circumstances, marital infidelity or another misbehavior does not affect alimony payments. The court may award different types of alimony, or a combination of different types, including:
- Limited Duration — Applies to marriages or civil unions under 20 years. The amount and duration depend on a number of factors including the length of the marriage and the disparity between the parties’ incomes.
- Rehabilitative — Applies to situations where one party needs time or training to develop the job skills that will allow him or her to increase their income.
- Open Duration –This applies to marriages of over 20 years. As with all forms of alimony, the court will evaluate all relevant factors in determining the amount of alimony. Open duration alimony will generally continue until the supporting spouse retires at a reasonable age. Full social security age is presumed to be a reasonable age to retire, although this varies depending on the circumstances.
- Reimbursement — Applies to situations where one spouse supported another through graduate or professional school.
If you would like more information about Alimony and Child Support, contact the Law Office of Tejas S. Kapadia to arrange a consultation.
We understand that if you are considering an attorney, then your matter is of extreme importance. Our response will be prompt, discreet and with the care and understanding that you deserve. Schedule an appointment with our Family attorney now.