Child Support Guidelines in New Jersey
Learn More from Our Hackensack Child Support Lawyers
New Jersey Court Rule 5:6A establishes that child support is to be calculated in accordance with guidelines, which are set forth in an appendix to the rule, known as Appendix IX.
Appendix IX is in fact made up of a series of appendices, covering the basic rules and underlying philosophy behind the guidelines, to line instructions for the guidelines, to charts and schedules setting for basic child support awards that correlate to the parties’ income.
For an explanation as to how these guidelines apply to your situation, speak to our Hackensack attorneys. Call Laterra & Hodge, LLC at (201) 580-2240.
How the Guidelines Work
The following is a very general overview of how the guidelines work:
- The guideline are based on how much a non-divorced family with the same financial means would need to support their child or children.
- New Jersey’s policy is thus to treat children of divorced parents the same as children whose parents are married.
- As such, the starting point with the guidelines is to determine the parties’ respective incomes. As the guidelines call for weekly breakdowns, each party’s weekly gross income is initially determined.
- The parties’ weekly gross incomes are then adjusted for such things as alimony received and/or paid, mandatory union dues, other child support obligations, and taxes, to arrive at each party’s net weekly income.
- The parties’ net weekly income is important for two reasons. First, the combined net weekly income determines how much the basic child support will be (and Appendix IX-F sets forth a chart of the basic child support awards, based upon the corresponding combined net incomes).
- Second, the parties’ net weekly incomes, when compared against one another, determine each side’s pro rata share of their total combined income (such that if Husband’s net weekly income is $600.00 and Wife’s net weekly income is $400.00, the Husband makes 60% of the total income and Wife makes 40% of the total income). This is significant because this portion ultimately determines how the basic child support obligation shall be allocated between the parties.
Before the basic child support obligation is allocated between the parties
in proportion to their respective incomes, certain adjustments are made
to the basic child support award. These adjustments can add to the total
basic award, and can also reduce one (or both) of the parties’ obligation.
These adjustments can be based upon such add-ons as
- The cost of childcare
- The cost of medical insurance for the children
- The cost of recurring medical expenses
- Adjustments based upon the amount of overnights the non-custodial parent has with the children
- One these adjustments are determined, the remaining number is then split between the parties in proportion to their respective incomes.