From nutritious meals and safe housing to tutoring and recreation, raising kids comes with great financial obligations. As such, it is important to have a clear and thorough support agreement in place if you and your ex-spouse are trying to co-parent after a divorce.
Our dedicated family attorneys in New Jersey understand that creating a fair agreement can be frustrating and complicated. Regardless of whether you are receiving or paying child support, we want to help. A Livingston child support lawyer could help you understand, modify, and enforce your right to fair financial help.
Parents cannot waive their obligations or refuse to support their children. This means that both parents bear financial responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their children. Additionally, children have a legal right to share in both parents’ income regardless of court-ordered custody, denial of paternity, or out-of-state parentage. This monetary obligation continues throughout childhood but might change based on the needs of the children and the parents’ financial resources.
Typically, the custodial parent has the right to receive monetary support from the non-custodial parent for their shared children. However, this is not always the case. Depending on the incomes of both parents, a court may decide to order child support from the higher-earning party. Support paying parents must financially contribute to daily child-rearing expenses, including housing, transportation costs, school supplies, and meals. Additional expenditures, such as vacations, clothing, or gifts, may also be a part of a support agreement. One of our local attorneys could assist parents seeking child support in understanding their rights and determine anticipated support payments.
New Jersey uses complicated mathematical formulas to determine the starting point for child support obligations. Generally, paying parents keep guaranteed self-support income while any remaining money is subject to withholding. Courts strive to pool overall child-rearing expenses and place proportional requirements on each parent based on their incomes, child expenditures, and caretaker roles. In some cases, the guidelines do not create a fair result. Family judges may alter these numbers after considering the some of the following factors:
Further, courts may order fathers to compensate birth mothers for certain pregnancy expenses, including doctor visits, vitamins, genetic testing, hospital bills, and postpartum care. Depending on the situation, judges may require paying parents to set up a child trust fund, purchase an annuity, or make periodic child support payments. A lawyer in Livingston could help someone determine how much they may owe or receive in child support based on their circumstances.
Situations change throughout a child’s life. Parents may remarry, have more children, fall ill, or change careers. Legal guardians could petition to increase, reduce, or suspend child support if circumstances dramatically change. One of our caring lawyers could help struggling parents modify child support orders if the situations warrants it. It is important to note that parents qualifying for payment adjustments must still pay arrears and interests on support owed until a judge has officially granted their request for modification.
Additionally, if a parent is struggling to collect child support payments from the opposing party, an attorney in the area could help them take legal action. Failure to support your children in New Jersey could result in civil, criminal, and professional consequences. A parent may work with a qualified legal professional to enforce support obligations through paycheck withholding programs, court-ordered liquidation of assets, or liens on future co-parent funds.
Settling on a fair child support agreement with the court’s approval can be a confusing and overwhelming part of divorce proceedings. You do not have to go through this process alone. A Livingston child support lawyer from our firm could help you fight for your right to fair support payments. For more information about how we could help you, call today.