Common Questions about Child Support in Short Hills
Child support is money paid from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent in order to ensure that the child has its basic needs met. The standard for child support is to allow for a lifestyle that is reasonably comparable to when the parents resided together.
Parents going through divorce may have various concerns regarding support obligations. The following information covers common questions about child support in Short Hills. For further advice on your circumstances, consult a knowledgeable attorney at our firm.
How is the Amount of Child Support Determined in Short Hills?
The amount of child support is determined using New Jersey support guidelines. Our law firm uses computer programs that help evaluate what the guidelines calculation will be for child support. In very high-income cases, the amount is calculated based upon a number of statutory factors, but there is a presumption in favor of using the child support guidelines.
First, the court will look at the incomes of both of the parents and input that into the guidelines. Next, the basic child support amount is calculated by deducting Mandatory Union Dues and contributions to pensions. Finally, that amount is separated based upon the amount of time each parent has with the child. If you have questions about your appropriate child support obligation, you should consult a skilled attorney who can run the guidelines for you.
If My Co-Parent Does Not Allow Me to See My Children, Do I Have to Pay Support?
In New Jersey, case law clearly establishes that child support and parenting time are two separate obligations. You are entitled to see your child if you have not had an order entered that would restrict your access to them. Therefore, if you are being denied the right to see your child, you should contact an attorney who could assist in asking for a court order to establish parenting time.
However, you should not resort to self-help and modify your child support obligation. The court will not look favorably upon you, and you will ultimately be required to pay the support that you withheld.
If a Father Terminates His Parental Rights, Does He Still Have to Pay Child Support?
In New Jersey, termination of parental rights also ends the obligation to pay child support. However, a father in Short Hills cannot unilaterally terminate his child support obligation or his parental rights. In order to terminate one’s parental rights, the state must initiate that action or the parent seeking to terminate his or her rights must have a third party, such as a stepparent, who can take over the parental role.
For instance, if a mother has remarried and her husband is eligible and wants to adopt the child, he can contact the stepfather. If the stepfather chooses, they can initiate an action to terminate his rights. Once there is a final judgment ending his parental rights, his child support obligation is also terminated.
At What Age is Child Support Terminated for Handicapped Children?
The termination of child support in Short Hills is based upon the age of emancipation of the child. A child becomes emancipated in New Jersey when they move beyond the sphere of influence of their parents and are deemed self-supporting. If a child is handicapped, several questions may be asked. How can the child take care of him or herself? At what point is it appropriate that that child be required to do so?
In order to determine the answers, the court will want to know what the child’s specific limitation is, whether or not they have any vocational abilities, and what can be done in order to ensure that they can support themselves. Because these cases involve fact-specific analysis, you should consult an experienced lawyer about your special-needs child to determine whether they will be able to become emancipated.
Can Child Support be Reduced if I Remarry and Have Children with My New Spouse?
If you remarry and have additional children to support, you can seek a modification of your original support obligation. In order to do this, the court must know the ages of your new children as well as the earning capacity of your home and new spouse. If your spouse is a stay-at-home partner, there will be income imputed to them so that the court can determine what the appropriate support obligation is for your new children. That amount will then be used to reduce how much you pay to your original supportive child.
Can I Change My Agreement to Waive Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) in My Child Support Settlement Later On?
Generally speaking, once you have agreed to waive support in any form in the agreement, you are going to be stuck with that waiver. You cannot come into court and simply ask that the court undo your agreement. The reason for this is that the court will presume that the other party has relied upon your waiver of support in consideration of other provisions of your agreement.
Additionally, there is an anti-retroactivity statute in New Jersey which bars the retroactive modification of support. If you have a question about a waiver in your agreement that you want to have modified or undone, you should discuss your circumstances with a seasoned attorney.
Does an Increase in Visitation Affect Child Support in New Jersey?
Child support is typically determined based on the amount of time that each parent has with the child. When the noncustodial parent has enough visitation time with the child, i.e., at least two overnights per week, that it can be considered a joint custodial arrangement, there will be a substantial change in child support. Outside of that, any change in visitation time by the noncustodial parent is only going to modify their support obligation by a very small amount.
Seek Advice from a Short Hills Attorney on Common Questions about Child Support
These common questions about child support in Short Hills do not cover every possible scenario for divorced parents. As such, those who wish to determine their child support amount, modify a previous arrangement, or get advice for their specific circumstances should consult with the legal team at Williams Law Group, LLC. One of our knowledgeable lawyers could answer any remaining questions you may have. Call today for a consultation.