Putting Children First in a Divorce. Holding Parties Accountable.
No two divorce settlements are alike, which is why it is so important to have experienced legal counsel like the kind you’ll find at Skoloff & Wolfe working on your behalf. When high net-worth couples enter divorce proceedings, there are numerous variables that need to be negotiated before a settlement is reached or before a judge ultimately rules on the issues for your case. If you do not have effective representation, anyone of these variables can end up working against you, particularly when it comes to child custody and child support.
How Child Support Payments are Decided in New Jersey.
The first step in calculating child support in New Jersey is running New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines. However, for parents with a combined after-tax income of above $187,200, the child support guidelines are merely used as a baseline upon which additional child support can be awarded under appropriate circumstances.
Child support payments cover costs such as food and shelter, education, transportation, personal care, and miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, lessons, and extra-curricular activities among others.
Although the guidelines are expansive and implicate many variables to fit as many scenarios as possible, the general mechanism is as follows:
- First, we look at two parents as if they were still together, and establish their combined income.
- Next, we establish how much an average New Jersey family earning that income would spend to support that number of children, and we ascertain the total support amount.
- Then, we apportion the total support amount to each parent based on what that parent’s percentage of the total income is.
- Finally, the respective portions of support are increased and reduced based on factors like parenting time, health care, childcare, and other support obligations.
As one party will be the recipient of support and the other paying, after income shares are assigned and respectively reduced; the party with the larger support contribution becomes the obligor, and his or her percentage share becomes the child support obligation.
For above-guideline cases, the court may order additional support to meet the lifestyle the child would be accustomed to but for the separation of the parents. This can be a significant area of negotiation and, if a resolution cannot be reached, a matter that the Court will need to decide.
The family law attorneys at Skoloff & Wolfe have significant experience handling divorce cases that involve considerable financial assets and business interests. In doing so, we are regularly called upon to represent parents on issues related to above-guidelines child support, whether they are the primary breadwinner or the other spouse. Child support is calculated primarily based upon the expenses for the child and the available cash flow for support. Our extensive experience handling divorce cases involving hedge fund and private equity firms, corporate executives, business owners, doctors, lawyers, real-estate owners, celebrities and professional athletes makes us uniquely qualified to represent parents in above-guidelines negotiations.
Child Support Compliance: What if Payments Lapse?
Child support agreements in New Jersey are binding. Consequently, failing to pay child support in New Jersey is serious business. The court has a number of tools available to hold the paying parent accountable in the event they have fallen behind in their contribution, or failed to pay altogether. Enforcement can apply to lack of financial support as well as the provision of health insurance, and can include:
- Pay garnishment
- Asset seizure
- License suspensions
- Civil awards and settlements
- Denial of passport
- Court enforcement, and more.
If your ex-partner fails to hold up their end of the agreement it is important that you have an attorney specializing in post-judgement enforcement to bring your complaint to the court for quick action. Skoloff & Wolfe attorneys are aggressive and thorough in representing our clients’ interests in all matters of matrimonial law, and we are extremely effective at ensuring the court hold parties accountable when they fail to comply with their child support agreement.
Do You Have Questions Regarding Child Support?
In all cases of child support and child custody, the family law attorneys at Skoloff & Wolfe are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients and the well-being of their family members. When ex-spouses behave in a non-compliant manner, we are an indispensable partner to have on your side.
You need to do what’s best for your children and yourself. Skoloff & Wolfe will help protect your rights. To speak with an attorney specializing in family law, call (973) 992-0900.