Oftentimes, after a divorce, when one spouse is denied custody of his or her child, that spouse may feel as though it is not his or her responsibility to pay for a child who he/she does not see, much less raise. Please continue reading and speak with our New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about child support in New Jersey. Here are some of the questions you may have:

How do New Jersey courts determine child support?

Child support is determined based on a wide array of factors, however, one of the main factors that New Jersey courts will consider is which spouse is the financially dependent spouse. In many cases, if your former spouse was financially dependent during your marriage, you will have to make support payments to your former spouse. That being said, New Jersey courts will consider various other aspects of your lives, though their main concern will be your child’s best interests. If New Jersey courts determine that it is in your child’s best interest for you to make support payments, you will have to do so.

Do I have to pay child support if I do not have custody of my child?

The first thing you should understand is that in New Jersey child support, is not dependent on child custody. This means that regardless of whether you have custody of your child, or even visitation rights, as long as NJ courts determine that you must pay child support, you will have to pay support. Failing to make your regular support payments can result in a wide range of consequences, though in the worst cases, neglecting to pay support can even result in jail time.

That being said, there are certain cases where you may request a modification to your support payments. For example, if you believe that your child has either reached the legal age of emancipation or that your child is otherwise now financially independent, you may request a support modification. On the other hand, if you are a parent who receives support, you may request an extension on your child support agreement if you believe that such an extension is necessary and in the best interests of your child. For example, if your child has special needs or plans on attending university or otherwise receiving higher education, an extension on support past the age of emancipation may be necessary. No matter your situation, our firm is here to help.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.