Statistics show that back in 1960, about half of all households comprised of a married couple and their children. Now, that number has dropped to about 22 percent in New Jersey.
These statistics highlight the increase in both single-parent households and joint custody arrangements. Issues inevitably arise when children are involved in a divorce. One of these big questions is how both parties will financially support their children even after separating.
When parents agree to a joint custody arrangement, does either party pay child support? Keep reading to find out.
What Exactly is Joint Custody?
There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Legal custody is the ability to make parental decisions about the child’s life, whereas physical custody determines who the child will primarily reside with. Joint legal custody doesn’t impact child support arrangements, but joint physical custody does.
How will Child Support be Determined in Joint Custody Cases?
Parents who have joint physical custody usually split the child’s time between households. Courts will reduce the amount of child support obligation based on the number of overnight stays the child has with that parent.
It’s tedious and unreasonable to require parents to track and record each hour they spend with their children. When courts attempt to calculate how many overnights each parent has with the youngsters, their calculations may not be exact. In some situations, your actual parenting time won’t be exact.
When both parents spend an estimated equal time with their children, the courts compare both parent’s incomes. If one parent makes significantly more than the other, then they may still be obligated to pay some support. When both parent’s incomes are equal, what happens next?
In May of 2016, the Superior Court of New Jersey heard a similar case where both parents truly shared 50/50 parenting time. Both parties also had equal annual incomes. The judge ultimately decided that deviating from the standard New Jersey Child Support Guidelines was warranted in that case because of the apparent fairness in their arrangement. He ultimately denied the requests for child support, citing the fact that the parents had an equitable arrangement without the added support. Both parents appealed the decision and continued to request financial support from the other. The Appellate Division upheld the lower court’s decision in denying both parent’s request for support.
Contact a Voorhees Township Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support and Joint Custody in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Cumberland, and Salem counties. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.