In New Jersey, all parents have an obligation to financially support their children, whether the children were born of a marriage or of a dating relationship. Child support is paid to the custodial parent of the child, regardless of that parent’s gender. As there are many cases wherein the father is deemed to be the custodial parent for the children born of the relationship, custodial fathers are just as entitled to the payment of child support as custodial mothers are. For example, should a father be identified as the custodial parent, the mother would then need to pay the father an appropriate amount of child support. Custodial arrangements may be entered into either by ruling of the Court or by agreement of the parties.

Child support is a right that belongs to the child and not to the parent, meaning that a parent may not waive child support on the child’s behalf. In most cases, child support is calculated by using a formula identified as the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into consideration many factors, including but not limited to the following: each parent’s income, the amount of overnights spent with each parent, health care premiums, and more. As calculating the appropriate amount of child support is an important part of your custodial relationship, it is imperative that you consult with a New Jersey Family Law Attorney in order to ensure that the ongoing financial needs of your children are met, whether you are just beginning the negotiation phase of your custodial arrangement or you are engaged in post-judgement motion practice.—Amanda J. Muhaw, Esq., Atkinson & DeBartolo, PC