The law firm of Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., are experienced Middlesex County child support attorneys. Child support and related forms of support for children such as medical coverage require the knowledge, skill, and experience that our attorneys have to offer our clients to ensure that each client understands his or her financial rights and responsibilities under New Jersey law. We explain how courts evaluate claims for child support, and what factors are relevant in each particular case. For answers tailored to the unique circumstances of your case, call a child support attorney at our Middlesex County firm for a free personal consultation. The following are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about child support:
- Is there a formula to calculate child support?
- What can I do if my ex has fallen into arrears in his child support payments?
- How does child support differ from alimony?
- Does child support cover my child’s unpaid medical bills and extracurricular activities?
- At what age does child support terminate?
In most child support cases in New Jersey, child support is determined based upon Child Support Guidelines that are found in the New Jersey Court Rules. Cases that are not governed by the Guidelines typically involve parents with relatively high incomes. In those situations in which the parties earn relative high incomes, our courts consider several factors to determine the appropriate level of child support. Our firm’s divorce and family law attorneys are ready to evaluate your individual circumstances to provide you with an explanation of how the courts will likely evaluate your case.
If your ex has not complied with an order to pay child support, you may file a motion to enforce litigant’s rights and have the appropriate probation division implement an income withholding — support payments that are automatically paid to you from your ex’s pay. The court also has the discretion to order other remedies that may include:
- Entering a judgment in your favor and against your ex for the arrears owed with interest.
- Requiring the arrears to be paid on a periodic basis.
- Suspending your ex’s driver’s license or occupational license.
- Imposing economic sanctions or community service.
- Issuing a warrant for your ex’s arrest.
Child support, which is not taxable income, exists to support children. Alimony or spousal support, which is taxable income, exists to support a former spouse.
Parents are typically required to share in proportion to their incomes their child’s medical bills that are not covered by health insurance. However, the parent who has residential custody of the child (or the parent who is designated to be the parent of primary residence) is typically responsible for the first $250 in uncovered medical expenses for each child each year. The New Jersey Court Rules provide that some activities fees are covered by the child support award under the Child Support Guidelines. However, parents are also typically required to pay for any agreed-upon extracurricular activity costs for their child in proportion to their incomes, with an understanding that one party will not unreasonably withhold his or her agreement for the child to participate in a given activity.
On February 1, 2017, a child support law became effective in the State of New Jersey, which provides that child support and medical support shall automatically terminate when a dependent child turns 19 years old, marries, dies, or enters military service. There are exceptions in which child support may continue beyond a child's 19th birthday. If a different age is specified in a court order or if a different age is specified in an agreement that was entered into by the child's parents, child support may be extended past age 19. Child support and medical support may also continue past the child's 19th birthday up to age 23 if the dependent child is still enrolled in high school or some other secondary education program, is enrolled full time in college or other post-secondary education program, or if the child is disabled. Child support is also exempt from automatic termination at age 19 if the child is still receiving support in an out-of-home placement through the Division of Child Protection and Placement and Permanency (DCP&P) in the Department of Children and Families past the age of 19, in which case, child support would end upon notification by the DCP&P that the child is no longer in placement or when the child turns 23, whichever occurs first. Contact the child support lawyers at our Middlesex County firm to discuss whether the circumstances of your case fall within the automatic child support termination age of 19 or whether your case falls within one of the exceptions that warrants child support past age 19.
Our Middlesex County child support lawyers take pride in their New Jersey roots, serving Middlesex County and the surrounding communities. For a free consultation, call 732-767-0044 or contact us online today to speak with us.