The State of New Jersey has Child Support Guidelines that govern child support up to specified joint income levels. These income levels are revised periodically. The “Guidelines” are a formula that takes into consideration each parent’s income and the number of overnights the child or children spend with each parent. When there are children from a subsequent marriage or there is split custody, the Guidelines still apply however the child support amount is calculated in a different manner.
Above the maximum joint gross income per year under the Guidelines, each child support case must be decided on its own facts. The factors at which the Courts look in above-Guidelines cases set forth in the child support statute and are as follow:
- Needs of the child;
- Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent;
- All sources of income and assets of each parent;
- Earning ability of each parent, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, custodial responsibility for children including the cost of providing child care and the length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or experience for appropriate employment;
- Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education;
- Age and health of the child and each parent;
- Income, assets and earning ability of the child;
- Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others;
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent; and
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant.