Trenton Child Support Lawyers
Qualified Child Support Attorneys Are Dedicated to Helping Clients Achieve Beneficial Child Support Arrangements in Mercer County and Throughout New Jersey
Child support is a hot-button issue in nearly every divorce that involves children. Even though you and your former spouse may be going your separate ways, you each maintain the obligation to support any mutual children financially. Of course, we know that preparing to ensure your child’s future is protected is one of your primary goals.
At Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC, our experienced Trenton Child Support Lawyers have seen enough to know what to expect based on your unique circumstances. Helping you understand your rights, obligations, and legal options are our top priority so that you can achieve the best possible outcome for your family.
We know that it can be difficult to maintain a relationship with a former romantic partner. That’s why we’re here to help guide you through the process and ensure your child is protected financially.
If you need help establishing, modifying, or enforcing a New Jersey child support arrangement, don’t hesitate to contact our offices today. We can set up a consultation so we can get to know each other and discuss your options moving forward.
What Is Child Support?
The state of New Jersey requires parents to financially support their children. This requirement exists even if the parents do not live with the child.
Child support is a type of payment that one parent pays to another parent to help raise their child. The money is to be used to pay for the basic necessities for the child, such as food, school supplies and clothing. The money can also be spent on expenses that indirectly affect the child, such as rent, mortgage, utilities and health insurance premiums.
The parent receiving the payments is often called the custodial parent and is usually the parent spending the most time living with the child.
When Do I Need to Pay Child Support?
Typically, it is the sole duty of the biological parents of a child that are responsible for child support. There may be exceptions, such as in cases of adoption.
As a general rule, when a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the biological father. When the child is born to unmarried parents, then a paternity test may be required to identify the biological father.
Sometimes the potential father will admit he is the father. But if he does not, a genetic test can be administered. If the results show a score of 95% or more, then the law presumes he is the biological father.
A parent’s obligation to pay child support continues until the child is emancipated. A child usually becomes emancipated either upon graduating from high school and having the capacity to be employed, or upon graduating from college or trade school which they pursued on a full-time basis.
How Do I Request Child Support?
In most situations, child support obligations are usually established in one of two ways.
First, there is the divorce proceeding. When a married couple deciding to split has children from the marriage, a judge will usually issue a child support order.
In some situations, the parents can negotiate their own child support arrangement. However, a judge will have to confirm that it’s in the best interests of the children before signing off on it.
Second, there is applying for child support. This can be done by going to NJ Child Support, which handles child support matters in New Jersey. NJ Child Support can also help with related child support matters, like collection, tracking down a parent, and establishing paternity.
How Is the Child Support Amount Calculated?
The child support calculation process is complex and is carried out on a case by case basis. This is because there are so many factors that go into establishing an actual dollar amount for child support.
For example, the process usually begins with examining the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are based on statistical data regarding how much families spend on children and the income each parent brings in.
The court will then look at other facts that can adjust the child support amount up or down. While expenses do play a part in determining child support, it’s nowhere near as significant as other factors, such as the parents’ income levels or the number of children they care for.
Finally, there are yet more facts a court can consider in calculating child support. Adjustments to child support can also be made based on:
- Education costs
- Medical costs
- Age of the child needing child support
- Any income the child earns
- How much time each parent spends with the child.
When do Child Support Payments Stop?
Despite what many think, child support obligations do not automatically end when the child turns 18 years of age. Instead, child support payments will typically stop when:
- The child marries;
- The court orders the child support to end (this may happen when the court emancipates the child);
- The child enters military service;
- The child passes away; or
- The child turns 19 years of age.
In some situations, a court may allow child support payments to continue until the child is 23 years of age. This can happen if the child is still in high school, attending college, has a disability or the parents reach an agreement to extend child support past the age of 19.
Contact an Experienced Child Support Lawyer in New Jersey Today
The experienced child support attorneys of Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC understand how important it is to ensure that your children are adequately provided for. We also know how important it is for each of our clients to be treated fairly by the child support laws. Child support is a serious legal obligation that cannot be ignored and is not easily disposed of. Therefore, if you are involved in child support proceedings, it is important that you have a dedicated, skilled family law attorney by your side who will fight to ensure that you receive fair treatment as the court determines child support obligations.
Regardless of whether you are trying to seek child support, are having trouble enforcing an existing child support order, or are having problems meeting your child support obligations, our Trenton, NJ child support attorneys are ready to protect your rights and interests. Contact us today for a consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Child Support
They can. The legal duty to pay child support will generally continue even after parental rights have been terminated. Only when the child is legally adopted, will the biological parent no longer have to pay child support.
It depends. If the unemployment is likely to be permanent or long-term despite reasonable efforts of the unemployed parent to find work, then the court may agree to lower the child support payment amounts. The unemployed parent will need to make this request to the court; it will not happen automatically.
If the unemployed parent isn’t making a good faith attempt to find another job, a court may still require that parent to continue paying the same amount of money in child support.
If enforcement of child support obligations is necessary, the Probate Division will attempt to collect child support. Methods of collection include: litigation, wage garnishment, and withholding the amount from lottery winnings or tax refunds.