If you and your spouse have children, but are considering a divorce, one of the issues that you may need to resolve is child support. Since it directly relates to the upbringing of your child or children, this is one of the most important aspects of a divorce. However, it is often also one of the most contentious.
A Toms River child support lawyer can help you make sure your child has the resources they need in order to have the best possible future. By working with a thorough family lawyer, you can create a plan that suits both your and your child’s needs.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a financial payment from a child’s non-custodial parent to the child’s custodial parent. This payment is to be used for the ongoing need and care of the former couple’s children.
It is important to note that this is money meant to be used on the child, not on the custodial parent. A Toms River child support attorney can fully explain child support and when it applies.
How a Parent’s Obligation is Calculated in Toms River
There are many ways for child support to be calculated. Divorces in Toms River will often see child support obligations computed through the use of the Income Shares Model. The Income Shares Model aims to provide children with the financial support they likely would have received were their parents still together.
This Model uses numerous factors to determine how much financial support needs to be sent from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the care of their child or children. Among these factors are:
- The income of the custodial parent
- The income of the non-custodial parent
- The needs of the child
- How much time the child spends with each parent
Using these factors, the Income Shares Model helps determine how much it costs to raise the child. The Model then requires each parent to pay those costs in proportion to their income.
While the Income Shares Model often comes to a child support obligation that is agreeable for both parents and is satisfactory for the child, there are times where it creates an unfair plan. In these cases, the court has the power to alter the results to come to a better outcome for all the parties involved.
Child Support and Taxes
An important issue when it comes to child support is how the payments will be taxed. In New Jersey, the answers are surprisingly straightforward: child support payments are neither taxable by the recipient, nor deductible by the parent making the payments.
It is important to fully understand the tax impact of child support. A Toms River child support lawyer can help explain the impact more thoroughly so parents can be sure they are following state guidelines.
Modifying an Agreement
Just because a child support obligation has been settled in a divorce decree does not mean that it has been set in stone. If either parent experiences a significant life change after the divorce, and that change impacts their ability to fulfill their obligations under a Child Support Order, they can press the court to modify the Order.
A successful modification can be useful for a parent who is struggling to make ends meet. However, a modification might not be good for the other parent in these situations, so making sure the change is beneficial to both parties is critical. Additionally, the needs of the child change over time as well. If the child support obligation is no longer meeting their interests, seeking a modification may be wise.
Contact a Toms River Child Support Attorney Today
Child support is often a contentious issue. This is rarely easy to settle, particularly as needs evolve and change in the years after a divorce goes into effect.
A Toms River child support lawyer can advocate on your behalf to make sure that you and your child’s needs are met. Call today to set up a free consultation to learn more.
To read the entire text of the relevant statute, click here.