Does the Custodial Parent Get Child Support?

Does the Custodial Parent Get Child Support?

Child support is one of the more common issues parents seek legal advice for because the obligation can be significant and will continue until your child becomes an adult. Many parents want to know if they will have to pay or get child support and how much it will be. Fortunately, the guidelines for New Jersey child support are relatively straightforward.

The child support amount (also called child support obligation) is determined—in large part—by the income of both parents and the time each parent spends with the child. The incomes will, however, be reduced by certain allowable deductions, and parents with relatively high incomes might be subject to slightly different guidelines. The obligation can also deviate from the standard calculation if the child is disabled or has special needs, the family has more than six children, or the child is in an alternative placement (i.e. foster care).

Many people believe it is the higher-earning spouse that pays the child support. In many cases, this is true. But another contributing factor is how much time each parent spends with the child. Typically, the parent who spends the most time with the child—the custodial parent—receives the child support because he or she covers most of the costs of raising the child, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Child support is meant to pay for both long-term and everyday expenses, meaning the parent who is most involved in the child’s upbringing has the greater financial need.

Child support is the right of the child, not the parents, so the child support goes to whichever parent covers the most expenses for the child. So, if the custodial parent is the higher-earning parent, the child support obligation of the noncustodial parent may be minimal.

If you have questions about how New Jersey child support is set, speak with an experienced New Jersey family law and child custody attorney. Child support is calculated using state guidelines, but some nuances can affect that initial calculation. An experienced family law and child custody attorney can help you calculate your child support obligation and help you understand what factors can influence that number.

Do you have questions about child support? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can explain how child support is calculated and make sure the obligation is fair. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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