Dynamic New Jersey Child Support Lawyer Delivers Strong Advocacy
Camden County firm assists custodial and noncustodial parents
New Jersey child support law is based on the principle that every parent bears responsibility for meeting the financial needs of their children. When a couple divorces, there should not be a negative financial impact on their sons and daughters. Determining what share of the total cost is apportioned to each party depends largely on their relative incomes. These concepts might seem straightforward, but serious conflicts can arise over child support terms. At The Law Offices of Kelli M. Martone in Haddon Heights, I provide comprehensive support to South Jersey parents when child support rates are being established and later on, if an order needs to be modified or enforced.
How are child support rates calculated?
Several different factors can affect a court’s decision on child support terms after a divorce or in a different situation where parents no longer live together. Key factors include:
- Parental income and assets — Generally, the income earned by both parents will be considered when calculating the noncustodial parent’s obligation. Assets such as investment portfolios and government payments are also taken into account.
- Medical and child care costs — It is important to consider the potential costs of child care and health insurance premiums as well as who is paying them when setting a child support rate.
- Age and number of children — The amount that needs to be paid rises with the number of children shared by the parties. The ages of the children can also have an effect, as a custodial parent might have greater earning ability if the children are old enough to care for themselves.
Child support ends when a youth turns 19 unless circumstance exists that would extend the time frame. A noncustodial parent’s obligation can run until a child is 23 years old if that child is a full-time student or requires support due to physical or mental disability. Parents can also agree to a termination date. My firm guides clients through these proceedings and strives to secure an optimal child support agreement through negotiation or in court.
What is included in a support order?
All child support agreements address costs associated with essentials such as food, shelter and clothing, but many sons and daughters have particular circumstances that should be considered as well. Families who have children with special needs often have additional medical expenses for treatments, therapy and medication. Additionally, if a child excels in academics, sports or music, parents may be compelled to make financial arrangements that ensure both parties are doing their part to encourage and support these talents. My firm takes into account potential expenses stemming from private lessons, special equipment, travel and uniforms when establishing a child support plan.
Are college expenses covered?
Tuition and other expenses related to a son or daughter’s college education can be covered within a New Jersey child support order. As the cost of post-secondary schooling can vary widely based on the individual circumstances, it’s wise to give these costs careful analysis, especially if you’re projecting for a future obligation. We have handled high-profile college contribution disputes and draw on that experience to safeguard our clients’ interests and create an agreement that anticipates potential contingencies.
Can child support orders be modified in New Jersey?
A lost job, new marriage, inheritance or long-term medical problem could alter the fairness of a previously entered child support order. When a substantial, unexpected change occurs, a paying or receiving party can ask the court to modify the terms going forward. Upon receiving the motion, a judge reviews whether the changed circumstances warrant an adjustment based on the factors used in the initial determination. I represent parents who are seeking changes to child support orders as well those opposing them.
How are existing child support orders enforced?
If a parent does not uphold his or her responsibility under the terms of a child support order, the court may garnish wages, seize tax refunds and non-renew professional licenses. In extreme cases, the nonpaying parent may face prison time. As a seasoned South Jersey family law attorney, I can walk you through this process and help file the proper paperwork to obtain the funds you are owed, including back payments.
Contact a knowledgeable Camden County child support lawyer about your issue
The Law Offices of Kelli M. Martone in Haddon Heights assists South Jersey parents on all types of child support proceedings, including modification and enforcement actions. To set up a conversation with a qualified family lawyer, please call 856-432-4587 or contact me online.