In New Jersey, if you are or were married, child support is under the jurisdiction of the divorce under the “FM” docket number. If you were never married, or if you are married but living separate and have not initiated divorce proceedings, child support can still be awarded under the “FD” docket number.
In either circumstance, child support is calculated pursuant to the “New Jersey Child Support Guidelines” established by the State. Although it is true that the Guidelines calculate what the child support amount ultimately will be, in many cases, the amounts to be used to input into the guidelines need to be negotiated or litigated.
For example, a spouse might be working off the books or be intentionally underemployed and their true income needs to be discovered to use for the Guidelines. In other situations, the amount of overnights the child spends with the non-custodial parent is in dispute. The amount of alimony paid and received plays a heavy roll in the calculation of child support. Additionally, there are many other credits to fight for against, and it is important to have an advocate on your side that fully understand the ins and outs of the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.
At Garces, Grabler, and LeBrocq, our attorneys are trained in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines and can assist your in determining what the fair and proper amount of child support should be prior to going to Court. Requests to modify child support by other a reduction or an increase are also required to be accompanied by an updated Case Information Statement (CIS). Properly filling out the CIS and the Child Support Guidelines can be likened to filling out complex tax returns, and should be done with the assistance of a lawyer.