Following a divorce, if one parent is granted sole physical custody of a child, the other parent, called the non-custodial parent, can be required by the court to pay child support. How much they will be required to pay varies from state to state and depends on several factors. The family law attorneys of Larkin Farrell LLC are well-versed in New York and New Jersey child support laws and can assist you through this process.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Child support payment in New York and New Jersey is determined by a number of factors including:
- The child’s specific needs, such as education, day care, or health care.
- The income and expenses of the parent with sole physical custody, or the custodial parent.
- The non-custodial parent’s income and expenses and their ability to pay.
In some circumstances, a court may base child support on what a parent is able to earn as opposed to what they actually earn. For example, if the parent leaves their job for a lower-paying job with potential for later growth, they may be required to pay based on the original salary before the job change.
- The normal standard of living for the child before the divorce.
Essentially, the court tries to determine what the custodial parent requires to care for the child and what the non-custodial parent will reasonably be able to pay. As with child custody rulings, child support rulings are made with the child’s best interest as the key deciding factor.
Can Child Support be Changed?
A change in circumstances between the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent, and the child may call for a modification to the child support terms. Any change to child support must be approved in court by a judge, even if the two parents agree on it. If the parents do not agree on the change, they must attend a court hearing where they can each make their case for or against the change. Some of the reasons child support may be changed include:
- The child having a medical emergency or other change of needs.
- Either parent changing jobs.
- Either parent losing their job or otherwise facing financial trouble.
- Either parent having a medical emergency or becoming disabled.
- A cost of living increase.
- Judges sometimes include cost of living adjustment clauses (COLAs) in child support orders which increase the amount of child support payments annually. This avoids the need for cost of living modifications later on.
My Ex-Spouse Will Not Pay Child Support. What Can I Do?
If a noncustodial parent is refusing or neglecting to pay their child support, New York or New Jersey child support lawyers can help the custodial parent enforce the support order. There are several methods available to enforce child support orders including:
- Seizure of property.
- Seizure of federal tax refunds.
- Suspension of a business license or driver’s license.
- Refusal to issue a passport.
- As a last resort, the court who issued the child support order can hold the parent in contempt of court and possibly impose a jail sentence.
Contact Experienced NJ & NY Child Support Lawyers Today
The attorneys of Larkin Farrell have experience in dealing with all forms of child support issues in New York and New Jersey. If you are going through a divorce, want to modify existing child support, or cannot get your ex-spouse to make their child support payments, contact us today to discuss your options. We have offices in Red Bank, NJ and New York, NY.