After deciding to get divorced and filing your divorce papers, you feel a sense of relief. After all, you are one step closer to living an independent life again. However, you have young children and are concerned about being able to support them if you end up with custody of them.
Fortunately, child support can help you to cover the costs associated with rearing your children. Here is a glimpse at how these court-ordered payments work in the state of New Jersey.
Child support in New Jersey
In the Garden State, if you are the custodial parent, the other parent typically must make child support payments to you until your children turn 18. However, the payments may continue past this age if your children are still high school students or have particular physical conditions or mental conditions requiring extra support.
How much child support will you receive?
The answer to this question depends on multiple factors that the courts in New Jersey take into consideration. The major factors include both your and the other party’s incomes, health insurance costs, and daycare expenses. Other factors include the children’s living arrangements and any applicable benefits from Social Security.
What can child support payments be used for?
As a general rule of thumb, these support payments can help to pay for the following:
- Extraordinary health care expenses
- Costs associated with traveling for visitation
- Child care costs
- Education costs (for example, transportation or school supplies)
- Medical insurance
Of course, they can also cover basic needs, such as shelter, food and clothing.
Could the child support amount change in the future?
Yes, the amount could change if the other parent requests a modification of the amount and the court approves it. The court will approve a modification request if the other parent’s circumstances have changed in a permanent, major and unexpected way. However, a judge will review the child support order every three years to make sure that it reflects current circumstances.
Your rights when it comes to child support
Child support can be immensely helpful if you are trying to rear children by yourself. Your biggest concern may be if you are getting a fair amount to cover your children’s costs, and the other party’s concern may relate to having to pay an unreasonably large amount considering his or her circumstances. It is within your rights to pursue the maximum amount possible for your children with a focus on what is truly in their best interests.