Are your expenditures for your children “average?” Be careful to make sure that all of your children’s expenses are included in child support. Most parents going through the divorce process are aware that New Jersey has guidelines to assist courts in determining support for children. But many do not know what exactly the guidelines are supposed to cover and whether their particular situation warrants a deviation.
Judges are required to calculate the child support guidelines in all cases. In cases where the combined net income of both parents is $187,200 or under, the amount under the guidelines will be applied. In cases in which the combined income is in excess of $187,200 net per year, the court is to use the guideline amount and then supplement that amount, based on a variety of factors. The guideline amount is a rebuttable presumption which means that the amount that is calculated is deemed to be the appropriate amount of child support unless a party can demonstrate that the amount is not. The Guidelines specifically tell us that the awards are based on an average of the percentage of income spent on children by a large number of families in a variety of socioeconomic situations.