big family parent with children

If you’re divorcing or separating and have children with your former partner, it’s essential to understand how New Jersey’s child support payments are calculated. Many parents are unaware of the factors that can influence the amount they pay, including how many children they have. Please continue reading to learn how having multiple children can affect your child support obligation and how our knowledgeable Monmouth County Child Support Attorneys can fight for you today. 

What is Child Support?

When parents split in New Jersey, that doesn’t mean their responsibilities towards their children no longer exist. Parents are responsible for financially supporting their children until emancipation. The court acknowledges that children shouldn’t suffer economically because their parents are no longer together. Therefore, when the children primarily live with one parent (the custodial parent), the other (non-custodial parent) must contribute financially to the child’s care and upbringing through child support payments. Child support covers necessities such as food, shelter, clothes, and medical care. However, it also covers expenses associated with activities that enrich the child’s life.

How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in New Jersey?

Like other states, New Jersey has specific guidelines that courts use to determine a child support order. Child support is typically determined based on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines using the Income Shares Method. Essentially, the amount of support is calculated based on both parent’s income, using a percentage of their combined income to determine each parent’s share of the child support contribution. It’s crucial to understand that in sole physical custody cases, where the child primarily lives with one parent, the guidelines assume that the custodial parent spends their share directly on childcare costs. The non-custodial parent then pays their share of the support obligation to the custodial parent. However, with a shared custody agreement, the guidelines are adjusted to account that both parents contribute to childcare expenses while the children reside with them.

The court may deviate from the guidelines based on the unique facts of each case. A judge will also consider other significant factors to determine a fair child support order. One of the most significant factors of these guidelines is the best interests of a child. Further, it’s important to note that your number of children will influence your child support obligation. The greater the number of children in your family, the greater your percentage:

  • One child: 17%
  • Two children: 25%
  • Three children: 29%
  • Four children: 31%
  • Five or more children: 35%

After the percentage is applied to the combined parental income, it will be split between the parents. If you’re facing a divorce with children, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a determined Monmouth County child support attorney from the legal team at Paone Zaleski & Muprhy, who can provide you with solid legal representation.