NJ Child Support Case Info Rights
Child support is more than money- it’s a responsibility. That responsibility belongs to both of the parents. It is designed to ensure that the children have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over their heads. Some children still don’t get the support that they need.
Despite the living situation or the breakdown of the relationship, both parents are expected to provide medical, emotional, and financial support for the children to ensure they are raised to become a responsible adult. In every child support case, there are two parents- one is the custodial parent, who receives the payment because they deal with the day to day responsibilities of raising the children. The other is the non-custodial parent, the one who makes the payments and while they don’t handle the daily responsibilities, they still have an important role to play.
Co-parenting is a vital part of maintaining health relationships with your children. While one person might take care of the daily duties, parents having shared responsibility is a vital element in the success of support of children.
Your children have the right to support, and the custodial parent has the right to seek this help.
If you already have a child support order, but you’re struggling to receive payments it’s important to remember that the payer should continue to make payments until the court says otherwise. If the payer is pursuing a change to the order through the court, they must continue making payments until a final decision has been rendered.
To have the order changes, the parent should file a written request with the court. Additionally, changes in employment, address, and health insurance providers must be reported to the Probation Division within 10 days.
The payer must make the payments through the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center, unless the court order states otherwise. The payer might not receive payment credit if they make payments directly to the other parent, or child, unless of course that payment method is approved by the court.
Additionally, there is a direct deposit program available, making the process safer, easier, and faster.
Missed payments result in a lien against the payer’s personal property, and can have an effect on the payer’s ability to sell real estate and obtain credit.
Many child support orders will contain a provision for adjustment based on cost of living. This is generally applied two years after the child support order was issued, and both parties will receive a reminder. If there is no provision for a cost of living adjustment in your order, then the order will be subject to review every three years. Failure to comply with the order may result in a jail term, loss of a driver’s license, or other action against you.
NJ Child Custody and Child Support
There are few things more emotionally distressing than the breakdown of a serious relationship. On top of that relationship breakdown is the need to arrange child custody and child support. In many cases, it’s easy for the situation to get out of control- with parents seeking to get the upper hand, and using their children to get it.
While that’s a tempting tact, it’s not the correct avenue to take. As dedicated family attorney professionals, we strive to get the best deal for our client and their children.
Under New Jersey law, every parent is obliged to contribute to their children’s support. It is this point that often leads to disagreements. Often, parents believe that the payments they are expected to make are too high, with the other parent feeling as though the support they will receive is not sufficient.
Child support can be a contentious issue. It’s important, though, for parents to understand that the purpose of New Jersey child support is to protect the children. It is the child’s right, as opposed to the parent. Parents have no right to renounce child support.
There are strict guidelines in place to determine child support payments. This factors in the income of both parents, as well as the needs of the children- this includes medical expenses, education, and lifestyle. The number of children involved also factors into the total amount that will be due. The judge and lawyers have an approved worksheet which assists in breaking down the factors that will be considered.
Even in cases of shared custody, the likelihood is that one parent will still be required to pay child support. Though, in cases of shared custody the payments may be lower than if one parent had the majority of physical custody. In every case, the judge will make the decision in the best interests of the child.
We understand what you are going through, because we have devoted our professional lives to handling family court cases. We have years of experience handling child support cases, and we are equipped to assist you with legal assistance and guidance.
If you want to know whether your case is applicable to child support guidelines, or you need to understand how the child support figure is calculated- we can help. If you want to know how you can modify your current child support agreement, or how you can enforce the child support agreement you have right now- we can help. Whatever the question- we have the answers you are looking for. Your case is important to us; if you want advice on your situation, please call to arrange a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
General Child Support FAQ
Cores and Associates provides clear and straightforward answers to general FAQs related to New Jersey child custody and New Jersey child support laws. Please note that these are for general awareness and reference purposes and do not constitute any form of legal advice. For a review of your case or issues, please contact our firm.
What Do I Need to Know Before a Custody Trial?
You should know what happens in your children’s everyday life. You should know their school and teachers, you should understand your child and have a connection, and be involved in their daily activities. You must be prepared for the trial process, which requires you to prove that you are the best fit for your children. Additionally, you should be able to show that you are willing to work with the other parent, and that you are interested in promoting the children’s best interests.
Can I Collect My Own Evidence in Court for My Custody Case?
You may collect your own evidence, although not all evidence is admissible court. It may not even be helpful, so you should run your evidence through your attorney to determine which evidence should be admitted, and which should not factor into your case.
Do I Need to Use a Custody Evaluator?
Also, known as a GAL, Guardian ad Litem. If the judge deems that the parents are not acting in the best interests of the children, then a GAL would be appointed by the court. The GAL’s investigation assists the judge with determining what parenting time and custody plan is right for the children.
A GAL is a mental health professional that will investigate the family and make recommendations to the judge with regards to parenting time and custody. The reports are expensive, and the court, or either parent, are entitled to appoint an evaluator. In all cases the parents pay for it.
Does My Child Have to Appear in Court?
It depends on the case proceedings, your child may or may not need to appear. The court may speak with the child, or not- in many cases the judge will speak with the children in their chamber to keep the child from testifying in open court.
What Is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act?
This is a federal law that was enacted in 1980. It was designed to safeguard children and their custodians from a planned relocation of children to another state during separation or divorce. This avoids interstate conflicts regarding jurisdiction.
What If My Ex Wants to Move My Kids Out of State?
For either party to move the children out of state an agreement must be achieved and put in writing by both parties. Alternatively, a court can enter an order providing permission. If you want to move, or object to a move, then the first step you should take is consulting with an expert attorney. These cases are complex and fact sensitive.
I Have Custody, Will I Receive Child Support?
That is dependent on the cases facts and findings. This will be based on time spend with the children, medical expenses, and adjusted gross income.
How much child support will I pay in New Jersey?
Each child support case is unique and hence the amount of child support will vary from one case to another. Child support is based on a set of factors set forth in the statute. The courts have approved what are known as the Child Support Guidelines for cases where the parental income is under a certain amount. This amount changes each year. The court has also approved a worksheet which is used by attorneys and the courts to take into account a number of factors such as the number of children, their ages, health care expenses, etc. As these factors vary for each family the amount of support will also vary.
Where do I find New Jersey child support guidelines, worksheets, and laws?
You will find a great deal of information on New Jersey child support laws on the New Jersey Judiciary website http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/csguide/. The Appendix IX on the Child Support guide is a great resource for child support laws and will help you understand the guidelines for calculating child support.
Who will get custody of our child(ren)?
Both parents have equal custody rights in the eyes of the law; however, the court focuses on the best interests of the children.
What is legal custody?
Legal custody is the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child.
What is physical custody?
Physical custody speaks to which parent has the child(ren) on a given day.
If both parents share custody does anyone pay child support?
Yes. Shared custody doesn’t negate child support obligation but rather implies an adjustment to it based on time spent with each parent and the income of each parent.
Can a parent refuse to allow visitation with the other parent if child support is not paid?
No. In such cases, the parent is required to file a petition for contempt of court. Or if support is paid through probation, probation will seek enforcement.
When can my child decide which parent to live with?
It depends on the judge’s analysis and weighing of certain factors based on the fact finder. The child’s preferences might be taken into consideration if the child appears mature enough to understand the situation.
Do grandparents have custody and visitation rights?
Yes but only in very limited circumstances where it is proven necessary to avoid any kind of harm to the child. The grandparents must establish that a visitation is required to keep the child from harm’s way. Other factors like the affinity of their relationship with the child and the consent of the parents will also be considered in court.
What is a parenting plan, and do I need one?
In cases where the parents fail to agree to a custody arrangement, each of the parents are required to submit a parenting plan to the court. A parenting plan outlines how the children will be raised and supported after separation and divorce. A parenting plan addresses certain factors like parenting time and visitation schedule, child support, medical expenses, holiday visitation etc. It will become part of the final order/judgment and later enforceable if it is violated.
When will child custody be decided?
It is best to reach an agreement on custody through private negotiations or mediation. If not, the court will order various investigations and ultimately have a trial where the issue will be decided by a judge.
When can I modify custody?
All custody orders or agreements can be modified in the best interest of the children, according to the law. However, the reality is that once an agreement is reached it is very difficult to modify in the future.
How is custody decided?
Custody is determined considering the best interests of the children above all other issues. The court considers certain factors like living situations, how the parents respond to matters pertaining to the child, the amount of quality time the parents spend with the child etc. to determine which parent is the best fit for the child.
What is visitation?
Visitation is a term that has been replaced with the phrase parenting time. It is the time that each parent spends with the child(ren) and is responsible for all things that a parent should be responsible for on behalf of the child.
Can a judge order supervised parenting time or no parenting time?
Yes, however, this is reserved for extreme situations where a parent has placed the child in harm’s way because of his/her conduct. Also, if there is a restraining order supervised time or no parenting time may be ordered.
Do courts favor the mother over the father?
Both parents have equal custody rights and are considered equal in the eyes of the law.
What should I know before a custody trial?
You should know the daily life of your child. You should be involved in their daily activities, know their school, the teachers, and above all you should know, understand, and connect with the child. Also, you should be prepared for the trial process in order to prove you are the best fit for the child, you are willing to work cooperatively with the other parent, and you are vested in promoting the best interests of the child.
Can I collect my own evidence to use if my custody case goes to court?
Yes, you can collect your own evidence. All evidences may not be admissible in court and might not be helpful, so you must run through them with your attorney to figure out which ones to admit and which ones to omit.
Do I need to use a Guardian Ad Litem/Custody Evaluator?
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) would generally be appointed by the court, if the court finds that the parents are not acting in the child’s best interest. Their investigation will help the judge determine what custody and parenting time is in the best interests of the child.
A custody evaluator is a mental health professional who will complete an investigation of the family and make recommendations as the custody and parenting time. These are expensive reports. Either parent is entitled to obtain one, or the court may appoint its own evaluation and order the parents to pay for it.
Will my child need to appear in court?
Depending on the proceedings of the case, the child may need to appear in court. The court may decide to either speak with the child or not. Also, in some cases the judges prefer to speak with the child in their private chambers.
What is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act?
The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act is a federal law enacted in 1980 in an attempt to safeguard the custodians and their children from planned relocation of the child to another state pursuant to a divorce or separation and hence reduce interstate conflicts over jurisdiction.
What if my spouse/former spouse tries to move the kids out state?
In order to permanently remove a child from the state, the parties must agree in writing or the court must enter an order giving permission. The first step is to consult with an attorney if you want to move or object to this, since these cases are very fact sensitive and very complex.
If I have custody, will I receive child support?
It depends on the facts and findings of the case which will be based upon the amount of time spent with the child, the adjusted gross income, medical expenses etc.
A Tested System
Cores & Associates, LLC specializes in all areas of child support relating to children and we will help your family navigate the complex and confusing child support process. We will guide you and ensure you make all decisions pertaining to your case from a position of strength and knowledge. Your situation and your case are important to us. For questions about your particular case, please call and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Call 732-414-6669 and get the legal advice you need.