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If you are going through a child custody dispute, you may be wondering about child support. Who will pay it, you or your child’s other parent? How much will it be and how often will you have to pay? How will your child support payments be calculated? There are a variety of aspects of life that can contribute to child custody payments. In New Jersey, a court typically will make the final call on how much the paying parent has to pay depending on all relevant party’s financial statuses and general situations. For more information on your parental rights and legal representation, contact a Sparta child support attorney.

What is a Custodial Parent?

During a separation or divorce, child custody must be decided. Unless the parents both agree that they will spend exactly 50% of their time with the child, there is probably going to be one parent who spends more time with them. That parent is considered the custodial parent. They could have been awarded sole custody or the two parents may split custody but the custodial parent spends 51% or more of time with the child.

The custodial parent will receive child support payments, as they are the ones who bear the majority of the responsibility of financially caring for the child.

What Factors Impact Child Support Calculation?

There are many factors that New Jersey courts evaluate to determine the most fair and appropriate child support payment plan. It is important for the money being paid to be enough to help the custodial parent with all of the child’s needs but not so much that the paying parent is unable to support themselves. Some factors that are included in a child support calculation include:

  • The percentage of time the paying parent spends with the child
  • The total of the child’s financial needs including education costs, medical expenses, food, clothing, daycare, etc.
  • The standard of living the child was accustomed to before any separation or divorce
  • Each parent’s net and gross income
  • Each parent’s expenses not related to the child
  • The paying parent’s ability to pay

The amount of children that the two parents have together will also have a direct impact on the amount required in child support payments. If they have multiple children then the custodial parent’s expenses are probably significantly higher than if they had only one child to clothe and feed. That is not to say that the amount of child support owed will double for two children or triple for three, but it will cause the payments to increase. In addition to all of the above factors, child support payments are calculated based on a percentage of the paying parent’s income. With every extra child, that percentage goes up.