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Determining child support for high-income families

Even when both people agree that divorce is the best next step for everyone, there are still a lot of aspects to consider and issues that can make a divorce complicated. When parents are considered, by the court, to have a “high income,” those issues can become even more complicated.

In most New Jersey child support situations, a judge will look at the amount of money each parent makes and use a chart to decide how much child support one spouse must pay the other. When the combined income of both parents is more than $187,200, that determination becomes more complex.

Here’s what you’ll want to know about how the court decides child support when one or both parents earn more than the standard guidelines.

Factors the court will consider for child support

When judges are looking to the guidelines to figure out how much child support one parents must pay the other, there is a specific note for them not to try to calculate the chart pas the proposed amounts. Rather, the guidelines serve as a starting point and judges are supposed to consider a number of factors for determining court-ordered child support.

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding how much child support a spouse will pay after divorce. Especially when one or both spouses makes more than the guidelines for child support. The court looks at several factors to determine child support for high income families including:

  • The income and economic circumstances as well as the earning ability of each parent. This means the court will take into consideration if one parent has been out of the workforce for a long period of time and may have a difficult time going back to work.
  • The needs of the child including their age and health and any income or earning ability the child may have.
  • The responsibilities of each parent including child care arrangements and who will be considered the custodial parent.
  • The court can also keep in mind anything else that comes up during the child support and custody process that may be relevant. This could include present and future schooling as well as any special needs the child may have. 

Child support amounts can change

Keep in mind that if something significant changes in the life of either of the parent or the life of the child, it is possible to request a change in the amount of child support. With young children, especially, a lot can change in a small amount of time and it can be difficult to try to predict an amount that is both fair and will accommodate those unpredictable changes.

If circumstance do change, remember to go through the process with the court. Even if both parents agree on a new amount, it is important to have that documented with the court in case a conflict arises either with the timing or amount of the child support payments. If there is a disagreement, the court will look to the last formalized documents to determine what is owed.

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The Law Office of Rajeh A. Saadeh, L.L.C.

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Somerville, NJ 08876

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