Child Support and Alimony
Cherry Hill, New Jersey Child Support Lawyer
In New Jersey, parents are required to support their children. Regardless of whether you’re married, single, or divorced, if you have a child you’re expected to contribute to his or her maintenance and support. As such, child support is the right of a child, not a parent.
The case of alimony, however, is different. Here, the court may decide to award alimony to a spouse based on the education, work experience, earning potential, health, or financial need of a spouse. As a result, alimony may be permanent, of limited duration, rehabilitative, or for reimbursement, depending on the specific issues involved. As such, spouses do not necessarily have a right to alimony – it depends on a number of factors unique to your situation and divorce. However, failure to pay alimony can result in a contempt of court charge, creating a number of potential unwanted legal and financial complications.
If you’re facing divorce or have been ordered to pay child support or alimony, contact Cherry Hill family law attorneys at Morgenstern & Rochester today. We can evaluate your case and conduct preliminary calculations to provide you with a rough idea of what you will be required to pay or awarded.
Child Support and Child Support Guidelines
In order to determine child support, a formula – determined by the Supreme Court – is used. Known as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, the formula fixes a dollar amount parents should pay and a proportion to divide unreimbursed medical expenses. Parents can negotiate child support amounts below or above the amount determined by the Guidelines, subject to final approval by the court.
If the court believes your specific case warrants modifying the amount determined by the Guidelines, it can choose to do so.
Additionally, there are various factors parents can claim that affect the amount of child support paid. For example, the amount of visitation or parenting time, support paid for other children, the cost of health care premiums, and alimony paid or received can all be claimed as factors. Taxes, union dues, and certain costs can be claimed as deductions.
Spousal Support and Alimony
The court considers a number of factors when deciding whether or not to award alimony and the amount involved. While each case is different, typically the following issues are taken into consideration:
- The length of a marriage
- The work experience of each spouse
- The need of each spouse and the ability to pay alimony
- Whether or not one spouse worked to put the other through school
- The history of financial contribution of each spouse to a marriage
- The distribution of property and debt
- Any physical or health issues of either spouse
- The standard of living each spouse is accustomed to
- The earning potential of each spouse
- The education level of each spouse
The amount and length of alimony involved will depend on whether or not the court believes a spouse needs support and education in order to become self-sufficient or is unlikely to earn enough to accommodate the lifestyle he or she is used to.
Contact Cherry Hill Child and Spousal Support Attorneys
Regardless of whether you’re facing divorce or need to modify an existing child support or alimony order, contact Cherry Hill family law attorneys at Morgenstern & Rochester today.