Child Support

The law offices of Kerr & Thomlison, located in Toms River, New Jersey, serves clients in all divorce matters involving child support in Ocean County.

Child Support Termination Statute

Effective February 1, 2017, New Jersey implemented a new Child Support Termination Statute.  For an overview of the statute, please click here.  The new Child Support Termination Statute (N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67) was signed in to law by Governor Christie on January 19, 2016 and went in to effect on February 1, 2017.  This statute implements a presumption that child support should terminate once a child reaches age 19, unless certain factors are met.  Furthermore, under no circumstances can child support continue beyond the age of 23.  However, this statute does not address emancipation (a child support obligation through the Probation Department may terminate but the parents may have a continuing duty to provide additional financial maintenance for a child who is not emancipated, regardless of their age, under certain circumstances).   The implementation of the statute has been confusing and unclear to a lot of people (both litigants and attorneys).  Many do not realize that a termination of child support pursuant to this statute does not automatically alleviate a parent’s financial obligations to the child.  There are many situations in which a parent may be surprised to learn that they have a continued obligation to provide financial maintenance for a child despite the fact that the child support obligation had been terminated long ago.  As will be explained below, in some of these situations, the parent may be unable to rectify the situation and may have ended up paying significantly more support than they should have.  On the other side of the coin, a custodial parent may forego financial benefits they (or their child(ren)) would otherwise be entitled to receive by simply accepting the termination of child support pursuant to this statute.

For potential pitfalls related to this new Child Support Statute, please click here.

Child Support Guidelines

The State of New Jersey adopted child support guidelines to determine parents' responsibility for the cost of raising children. Child support guidelines are the determination of child support where the combined net income of the parties is $187,200 or less. If the parties fall into this category child support guidelines are mandatory.

The Court, however, does have the discretion to modify the child support and deviate from the guidelines. The following factors are considered in determining whether or not to deviate from the child support guidelines:

   1. Equitable distribution of property;

   2. Income taxes;

   3. Fixed direct payment;

   4. Unreimbursed medical and/or dental expenses for either parent;

   5. Educational expenses for the children;

   6. Educational expenses for either parent;

   7. Single family units having more than six children;

   8. Involuntary placement of children in foster care;

   9. Special needs of gifted or disabled children;

  10. Ages of children;

  11. Hidden costs of caring for children;

  12. Extraordinary high income of child (e.g. actors, trust);

  13. Substantial financial obligations for elder care;

  14. Tax advantages for child's health insurance.

  15. Although these items are set forth in the child support guidelines, child support guidelines are rarely deviated from. The main exception for deviation is the college education of the children.

Where the combined net income of the parties exceeds $187,200, the guidelines need to be supplemented for additional support based on the following factors:

  • Age of the child;

  • Standard of the living and economic circumstances of each parent;

  • All sources of income and assets of each parent;

  • The earning ability of each parent;

  • The need and capacity of the child for education;

  • Assets and earning ability of the child;

  • Responsibility of the parents for the court ordered support of others;

  • Reasonable debts and liabilities for each child and parent;

  • Any other as the court deems relevant.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding child support, please contact us today for a consultation.

Kerr & Thomlison, L.L.C.

Attorneys at Law

650 Washington Street, Suite 1C

Toms River, NJ 08753

Phone: 732 736-8100

Fax: 732-736-9505