It’s in the numbers, or is it? Calculation of child support in NJ
It’s the law in NJ that parents are obligated to pay child support for their offspring, according to their abilities. How does this work and how is the amount of child support calculated?
Fundamental to the process of calculating a NJ child support obligation is the Child Support Guidelines (“CSG”), or Appendix IX-A et seq. Key to the calculations are whether parenting is shared equally or not, and of course, the number and age of offspring. Typically the CSG applies when evaluating child support payments for offspring younger than or 17 years old. For offspring 18 or older (or having completed secondary education), the CSG directs the court to consider N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 as well as case law, although the guidelines are may be used as a starting point for discussions.
So, what does N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 reveal? The purpose of the statute is to determine the amount of child support the parent is obligated to pay. But it also addresses the period of time during which the duty is owed. The statute lists factors courts are to consider in determining answers to these two questions, although courts may also consider other unenumerated factors. The factors pertain to the circumstances surrounding the child as well as each parent and include: age and health of the child and parent; income, assets, and earning ability of the child; and finally, any other factors the court deems material.