New Jersey Child Support Calculations
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed May 10, 2018
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
When parents live together as a family, they typically pool their resources and income to care for their children's needs. When parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise not married, New Jersey law tries to emulate the same result via child support. The income shares theory used to calculate child support stipulates that the combined parental income should be used to support the child regardless of the parents staying together. In other words, children shouldn't be deprived just because their parents have split up.
Because income is the main factor in the equation, it's pivotal that parents understand how their income is calculated. You can get a sense of the amount by using a child support guidelines calculator, but that's just the first step. There are other factors that will influence the actual amount of the child support amount, including (but not limited to):
- The number and ages of the children involved;
- The amount of yearly overnight visits each parent spends with the children; and
- Health care expenses.
New Jersey Child Support Calculations at a Glance
Although an attorney is best equipped to provide a thorough statutory interpretation, a simple language guide to the statutes serves as a useful resource for nonlawyers. The chart below provides a concise overview of the law that governs New Jersey's child support calculations.
Gross earnings: These are established based on tax records and current pay stubs. New Jersey requires the use of both parents' income from the equivalent of a full-time job to arrive at a child support amount.
The law defines net income as gross income minus the following:
Besides the child's share of everyday expenses such as food, clothes, and basic living expenses, there are other expenses that New Jersey allows for adjustments in the calculation of the income. These include:
The combined income from both parents is put into the formula and then a basic monthly support is figured by using the state support guidelines. To qualify as sole custody, the non-custodial parent spends less than 105 days per year with the child, or less than 28% of the time with the child.
Income and overnight figures factor into the shared custody equation, but the calculations differ from the sole custody ones; the child support is lower when using the shared custody equation. To constitute shared custody, New Jersey requires each parent to host the child overnight for more than 104 days within the year.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
New Jersey Child Support Calculations: Related Resources
- New Jersey Family Laws
- New Jersey Child Custody Laws
- Child Support Amounts
- Child Support Calculators: Are They Accurate?
Need Help with Child Support Calculations in New Jersey? Speak with an Attorney
Determining New Jersey's child support calculations can be complex depending on the specific circumstances. You want to ensure the accuracy of the support for the benefit of you and your child. Get help with child support matters from an experienced New Jersey child support attorney today.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.