Child support refers to court-ordered payments made by the non-custodial parent to help the custodial parent with the costs of raising a child. In New Jersey, child support obligations normally last until the child turns 18 years old, but can continue up past that age if the child is still in high school or has certain physical or mental conditions that require extra support. While each case is unique, New Jersey courts calculate how much is paid by the obligor (the person making the payments) by following specific guidelines, or formulas.
How to Request Child Support in New Jersey
There are several ways a parent can receive child support in New Jersey. If both parents agree on the terms, they may ask a judge to approve a support order in a civil case such as a divorce or other family law proceeding. However, the majority of cases start by completing an online application for child support or by submitting a completed paper form of the application to the local Child Support Agency (CSA).
The CSA can help a parent locate the noncustodial parent; establish paternity for children born outside of marriage; establish support obligations, collection, and distribution of support; and enforcement of support obligations through the Probation Division.
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines at a Glance
If you're trying to obtain child support, particularly if the non-custodial parent isn't cooperating, you likely don't have the time or energy to decipher dense legal texts. That's why we've provided the key details of New Jersey's child support guidelines in the table below.
|Statute||New Jersey Statutes: Title 9, Section 17-53|
|Main Factors in Determining Child Support||
New Jersey courts calculate child support based on a complex formula (see the state's online support calculator to get an estimate), but the most significant factors include the following:
|What is Included in a Support Order?||
Generally, child support payments are intended to cover the following costs pertaining to the child(ren) named in the order:
|New Jersey Child Support Guidelines: Guides, Worksheets, and Tables||
New Jersey provides several tables and worksheets to help parents determine their (or the other parent's) child support obligations, including the following:
Note: Be advised that these amounts and formulas are subject to change with adjustments for inflation and changes in the law.
|How Long Must a Parent Pay Child Support?||
|Can a Support Order be Changed?||
Yes. Either party can ask to schedule a modification conference if circumstances have changed. The term "changed circumstances” means a permanent, substantial (major), and unanticipated life change.
A judge will automatically review the support order every 3 years.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines: Related Resources
Get a Handle on Your New Jersey Support Case: Contact an Attorney
If you're a single parent trying to raise a child, chances are you're pressed for time and short on cash; child support payments can make a big difference, but regardless the payments are required by law. Because of the high stakes involved, it may be a good idea to consult an experienced New Jersey child support attorney if you have questions about your specific situation.
Contact a qualified attorney.