Child support is typically based on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support
- Guidelines are premised on three concepts:
- Child support is the continuous duty of both parents;
- Children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents; and
- Children should not be the economic victims of a divorce or separation.
- Child support is the right of the child and the Child Support Guidelines assume that the custodial parent is spending the support award on the children.Child support is calculated based upon many factors, including the number of children, the income of both parties, the cost of work-related daycare, the cost of medical insurance for the children, and the amount of overnight parenting time each party enjoys. Once the information is inputted into the Child Support Guidelines, the result is a weekly support figure that the non-custodial parent or parent of alternate residence will pay to the custodial parent or parent of primary residence.As it relates to alimony, we need to first consider the purpose of an alimony obligation. The purpose of alimony is to allow the supported spouse to maintain a similar lifestyle to that which was enjoyed during the marriage to the extent financially possible. Calculating the amount of alimony and the term it is payable is often complex and tends to be the most difficult issue to resolve.
In calculating alimony, there is not an official guideline or formula like there is for child support. Rather, it is a very fact-specific analysis based upon statutory authority.
Recently, the alimony statute was modified so that there are durational limits on the amount of time alimony is paid. In addition, we have been provided with a clearer way to address the situation when an obligor wants to retire and reduce or terminate the alimony obligation. Finally, the alimony reform statute provides criteria that must be met before an obligor can be successful on an application to reduce or terminate alimony upon a loss of income.
Whether you seek alimony, child support, or both, it is important to have an experienced matrimonial attorney at your side to analyze the circumstances and calculate the obligations.
Matrimonial attorney Amy Harris of Keith, Winters & Wenning, LLC has more than 15 years of experience and practices family law exclusively. Located in Bradley Beach, she has been admitted to both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars.