It’s human nature to save and acquire financial resources. When a New Jersey resident is a parent and responsible for the welfare of a child, this instinct to save money grows even stronger. For this reason, child support amounts could become a subject of heated debate during contentious divorce proceedings as both parents try to save and/or receive as much money as they.
Fortunately, with a better understanding of family law and what courts look at to determine child support amounts, parents will be more capable of negotiating this issue to arrive at a fair and balanced out-of-court resolution. Here’s the kind of information family law courts use to calculate child support levels:
The needs of the child
Your child will have various financial needs that apply to his or her life. On the most basic level, these needs include the costs associated with childcare, health insurance, education, food, shelter, entertainment, transportation, clothing, extra-curricular activities and more. Some children may also have special needs relating to a physical or mental health condition.
The nature of the child custody arrangements
In many cases, parents enjoy 50-50 physical custody and the child will live between them half the time. In some cases, when the parents’ incomes are evenly matched, such arrangements will not require either parent to pay child support.
The income and financial needs of the custodial parent
Courts will evaluate the income and financial needs of the custodial parent. This is the parent with whom the children lives full time. In most cases, it’s the noncustodial parent who is required to pay the custodial parent child support. Even if the custodial parent earns a great deal more money than the noncustodial parent, courts will still want the noncustodial parent to contribute to the financial welfare of the children.
The income of the noncustodial parent
Courts will determine the income of the custodial parent and what he or she can reasonably afford to pay to the custodial parent to help with the care of the children. Courts will not force a noncustodial parent to pay more than a reasonable amount.
Other factors will also come into play, such as the standard of living enjoyed by the children before the parents decided to separate, the extra-curricular sporting and art activities enjoyed by the children and other factors. Before you try to negotiate your child support, make sure to have a clear understanding of all the factors that could affect how much you can receive or how much you should have to pay in your case.