In some states, parents are allowed to reach a “no child support” agreement as a condition of their divorce. However, in New Jersey, parents are not allowed to waive child support regardless of what both parents prefer. It’s required by law, and you’re expected to provide funds to make caring for your child’s basic needs financially feasible. The only exception to this rule is when the custodial parent can fully cover childcare expenses in full without contributions from the non-custodial parent. If the custodial parent requests a child support waiver and can financially meet or exceed their child’s needs, the court may grant the waiver.
The Amount Varies According to Your Situation
Though New Jersey law requires parents to pay child support, the courts recognize that every situation is unique. This means they’ll tailor their decision and the amount you’re required to pay based on your financial situation.
The goal is to make child support reasonable enough to meet your child’s needs without putting undue strain on your monthly budget. The court recognizes that you have expenses you’ll need to cover for yourself on top of anything that your child may need.
What’s Considered in the Child Support Decision?
Though the court considers your finances when determining how much you’ll need to pay in child support each month, it’s not the only deciding factor. They strongly consider your child’s individual needs and the type of care they’ll require until they’re either emancipated or a legal adult. These are a few things they’ll look at before deciding how much you’ll need to contribute.
- Your income: Your income plays a major role in how much you’ll have to pay in child support each month. The more you earn, the more the court assumes you’ll be able to contribute. However, if your income is on the lower end or unstable due to the nature of your job, the court will understand and take this into consideration.
- Your child’s medical expenses: If your child has ongoing medical conditions that require treatments, prescriptions, or therapies, you may need to pay a larger sum each month. This is because the cost of those treatments will need to be shared between the parents.
- The cost of insurance: Typically, the custodial parent provides the child with health insurance. However, the non-custodial parent may be expected to contribute to the cost of that coverage.
- Childcare expenses: If your co-parent has to send your child to childcare while they’re at work, you may be expected to contribute to those expenses.
Remember, Child Support Is For Your Child
Though paying child support can seem like you’re only benefiting your former spouse, it’s important to remember that the money you’re contributing is used to support your child. Your former spouse will use that money to provide quality care and meet your child’s needs as they grow. It’s not a punishment or a way to retaliate against you for some perceived wrong.
Get Help From a New Jersey Family Law Attorney
If you’re unsure about your current child support agreement or are worried about coming to a fair arrangement so you can better look out for your child’s well-being, schedule a consultation with the legal team at Carvajal Law. Our experienced New Jersey family law attorneys will help you navigate the process with confidence.