Even a relationship that ends amicably can cause heartbreak when there are children involved. When child support is at issue in Rockland County or Bergen County, it is important to trust your case to an experienced NY or NJ attorney.
At KGG, our matrimonial attorneys in Rockland County and Bergen County understand both the legal and emotional issues involved in child custody and child support. Our NY and NJ child support lawyers are here to help you put your children first while protecting your rights.
Obligation to pay child support
Regardless of whether parents are divorced or were never married, the noncustodial parent is required to pay child support. The specifics of the obligation to pay child support, however, are different in each state. It is important that you work with a child support attorney who is well-versed in the law of the state where the child support is owed.
Child support in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the non-custodial parent must pay child support until the child turns 18 and is no longer in school, unless the child is considered emancipated. A number of expenses are considered bundled into the child support and need not be paid separately. These include clothing, footwear, entertainment, and up to $250 in unreimbursed medical expenses, per child, per year.
New Jersey courts have also, on occasion, required divorced parents to contribute to the cost of the child’s college education where still-married parents would not be obligated. It is generally a good idea to consult a lawyer when it comes to child support issues, but KGG child support lawyers in Bergen County, NJ are especially helpful when it involves a question of college tuition.
Child support in New York
Non-custodial parents in New York are obligated to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 21 unless the child is considered “emancipated”. A child can be deemed emancipated if he or she is married, in the military, or otherwise self-supporting.
In New York, child support includes cash based on income, health insurance, contributions to child care, and payments for reasonable out-of-pocket health care costs. The obligation to pay until the child turns 21 can be altered by agreement; a KGG child support lawyer in Rockland County, NY is the best person to speak with about such alterations.
Child Support Calculator
In both New York and New Jersey, when a non-custodial parent owes support, the courts use an income-based child support formula to calculate the amount owed.
Very generally, the formula combines both parents’ income and then looks to state guidelines to determine the right amount of support for the number of children. Then the total support needed to adequately provide for the children is proportionately divided between the parents, and the deficiency will be paid from one parent to the other. Parents may split additional costs, such as medical insurance, day care expenses and extracurricular activities in proportion to their incomes or equally.
The child support calculator is only meant as an approximation. In reality, each family has unique circumstances. This means there are times when a court may choose not to apply the general guidelines, or to make certain exceptions due to special circumstances.
At KGG, we will carefully review all the details of your case to determine what is in the best interest of your children and advocate on your behalf.
Enforcement of Child Support
Is your former spouse failing to fulfill the child support obligations as they are stated in your divorce settlement agreement? Parents who are not receiving court-ordered support must retain a child support enforcement attorney to protect your child’s rights, before the arrearage (past amount owed) becomes overwhelming.
Child support orders should be reviewed every few years, as circumstances for both the recipient parent and paying parent may change. It is important to remember that child support is actually the right of the child. Any time the court is asked to revisit a prior divorce order, they will base any decision on what is best for the child in question. When a parent can demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant income change or a child reaches the age of emancipation, it may be necessary to revisit and modify the child support order.
KGG attorneys are always here for you, to help you determine or refine child support obligations. We can also discuss your request for a modification or enforcement of support responsibilities.
Speak with a NY and NJ child support attorney
Family law is complex and where children are at the heart of a dispute, the emotional stakes are high. Call a child support attorney you can trust for solid and caring advice. The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman are here to serve you in this challenging time. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Additional Child Support Resources:
- New Jersey Courts, Probation Services – Child Support Enforcement, http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/courts/probationchild/probationchild.html
- New Jersey Department of Human Services, Child Support, http://www.njchildsupport.org/
- New York State, New York Child Support Online, https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/home.html