What is Child Support Intended to Cover?
Updated: Oct 25
In New Jersey, Child Support Guidelines are based on the income of the respective parents, the number of overnights with each parent, and we can include other fixed expenses like health insurance premiums or daycare costs. Once this key data is entered, the guidelines will establish how much is to be paid, but what is that support intended to cover?
There is a detailed recitation of the methodology used to create these guidelines in Appendix IX to Court Rule 5:6A addressing Child Support and we practitioners will refer our clients often to the list included in the Appendix to help answer specific questions about individual expenses. Here are two easy-to-understand expenses and how they are addressed by the rule:
Q: Is hockey equipment to be paid for from Child Support?
Q: Are everyday sneakers covered by Child Support?
The list is not exhaustive: it serves to provide some context and contrast to what is a usual, recurring expense allowed for and covered in the methodology from what is an extraordinary expense that is “outside the guidelines.”
Best practice: try to identify as many of those grey items as you can (car insurance, cell phone, school lunch, and field trips to name a few that I have addressed over the years) so parties who are unable to agree can have a clear understanding written into their Agreement. The more we know about the parties' intent from the beginning, the less opportunity for conflict as the children grow and their needs shift.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask us. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to call us at 908-237-3098.
Looking to learn more about divorce? We have several articles on our blog. Here is a good article if you are just starting to look into matters: https://www.amrlawyers.com/post/divorce-basics-costs-duration