Child Support Lawyers in South Jersey
Dedicated Child Support Lawyers Represent Parents Throughout NJ including Moorestown, Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel
All parents are required to contribute to the financial support of their children, whether they are married, divorced or were never married to each other at all. The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child’s needs are always met, regardless of which parent the child is spending time with. In South Jersey, the courts generally attempt to approximate the total childcare costs that would be incurred were the parents living together as a cohesive household, and then that total figure is divided between the parents based on the income of the parents and other relevant factors.
Despite this relatively straightforward arrangement, child support disputes can quickly become contentious and enforcement issues arise frequently. If you are considering divorce and have children, or have questions about child support obligations in general, contact a knowledgeable family law attorney for guidance today. Contact Cordry Harman, LLC for a free consultation into your child support case.
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
The rules governing a parent’s child support obligations in New Jersey have recently changed, so that child support obligations now continue until the child reaches age 19. Prior to February 2017, child support obligations ended when the child turned 18. However, once the child turns 18 or becomes financially independent, the parent is entitled to petition for termination of his or her child support obligations. A custodial parent is also entitled to request that child support continues past age 19 if he or she can show that the child is still enrolled in high school or post-secondary education on a full-time basis, or if the child has a physical or mental disability that would justify extending child support obligations past age 19.
The amount of child support that a parent is required to pay is determined based upon a set of child support guidelines developed for use throughout the state of New Jersey. These guidelines take a variety of factors into account, including:
- The parents’ respective income levels and standards of living,
- Costs of child care in the geographic area,
- Costs of health insurance expenses and related costs,
- The parents’ ability to earn additional income,
- The number of nights the child spends with each parent, and
- Whether the child has any special needs.
An initial child support order can be modified at a later date if one parent is able to show that circumstances have changed so that the existing arrangement no longer reflects the economic realities of the circumstances. Under New Jersey law, the change in circumstances must generally be relatively permanent, substantial and a change that the parties did not initially anticipate. Examples include:
- Job loss,
- Serious disability or illness of a parent or the child,
- Increases or decreases in the amount of time one parent spends with the child,
- Significant changes in income, or
- Changes to the child’s needs.
The New Jersey guidelines take fixed and discretionary expenses into account, and also provide guidance for determining child support obligations for sole and shared parenting situations. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation for your child support payment case.
Why Retain a Child Support Lawyer in Your Moorestown, NJ Case?
While the approach to determining child support payment obligations in New Jersey may initially seem formulaic and straightforward, significant complications can arise when applying the child support guidelines. Unfortunately, enforcement of a parent’s child support obligations can become an issue in many cases. If enforcement issues arise, the advice of a reputable family law attorney can be critical in helping to enforce a child support order against a delinquent parent.
Complications in determining child support can also arise if one parent has sole custody of the child, or when parents have significantly divergent income levels. Many parents have questions about whether their child support obligations continue when the child moves away to college or no longer lives with either parent for another reason.
At Cordry Hartman, LLC, our skilled team of family law attorneys can help you estimate your financial child support obligations and can advocate on your behalf to obtain a reasonable and fair child support order. We can also help if your financial circumstances have changed or living expenses have increased significantly, and you need to request modification of an existing child support order.
Contact Our Effective Child Support Lawyers for Advice in Your Case Today
If you have questions regarding your child support obligations or need help enforcing or modifying an existing child support arrangement, contact our experienced child support lawyers today. We have the talent, expertise, and skill to provide you with the best result possible in your child support enforcement or modification case. Contact Cordry Hartman, LLC today for a meeting with our experienced family law team. Our offices are conveniently located at 505 S Lenola Rd Suite 224, Moorestown, NJ 08057. We serve clients throughout New Jersey, including in Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Voorhees, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, Cape May County, Salem County, and Atlantic County.
Child support obligations cannot be discharged along with other unsecured debts in bankruptcy. This means that even if your former spouse declares bankruptcy, he or she will remain obligated to pay child support. A child support lawyer can help you obtain a court order allowing wage garnishment, garnishment of any of your former spouse’s tax refunds or even a levy on his or her bank accounts. In some cases, it may even be possible to levy on any real estate, cars, boats or other property that your former spouse owns. It is important to remember that a child support arrangement is a legally binding and enforceable arrangement, and an experienced family law attorney can help you protect your child’s rights.
When each parent spends an equal amount of time with the child (i.e., each parent has 50 percent of the “overnights” with the child), the New Jersey courts will look to both parties’ income to determine whether a child support award can be justified. If a substantial income discrepancy exists, child support may be possible. In most cases, child support awards are relatively small when the parents split parenting time equally.