When you've filled in the boxes and clicked on the calculate button, you'll get a rough estimate of the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent will have to pay to the custodial parent.
New Jersey's child support guidelines take into account both parents' income, how many children need support, and the amount of time each parent spends with their children. To get an estimate of the amount of support under the state's current guidelines, you may also use the official New Jersey Guidelines Calculator.
If you want to see the details on how the court will determine the amount of child support, you may go straight to the state's child support worksheets, which include details on the various adjustments allowed under the guidelines. There are separate worksheets for child support in sole custody arrangements—when the children live with the custodial parent—and for shared parenting situations—when the children will live with the custodial parent (called the "parent of primary residence," or PPR) most of the time but will also stay with the noncustodial parent (called the "parent of alternate residence," or PAR) significant amounts of time.
New Jersey presumes that the amount calculated under the guidelines is the right amount, unless you can prove that a different amount would be appropriate because of specific circumstances in your case. Whether you and the child's other parent have agreed on a support amount or a judge decides for you, the judge will have to find that there was a good reason for departing (deviating) from the guidelines.
Learn more about how child support works in New Jersey, including factors judges must consider when deviating from the guidelines.
Typically, you'll apply for child support as part of the process of filing for divorce in New Jersey. You'll include your completed child support worksheet along with the other divorce papers.
If you aren't married to your child's other parent, you may get help with requesting support by applying for child support services from the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHR). If needed, the DHR can help with establishing the child's legal paternity (or parentage) or locating the other parent.
If you're having trouble collecting support payments, the New Jersey DHR can also help enforce court-ordered child support by collecting and monitoring payments, withholding support from paychecks, intercepting tax refunds, reporting delinquent parents to the credit bureaus, and other enforcement methods. Use the online application mentioned above to request this assistance.
Either parent may request a modification in the amount of child support in New Jersey. Generally, you'll need to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a parent's involuntary job loss. If it's been at least three years
Here again, you may request a review of your current child support order from the New Jersey DHR to see if it warrants a modification, as long as it's been three years since the order was issued or since the last review.