Manalapan Family Law Attorneys

Legal Guidance for Manalapan Residents Pursuing a Divorce

Manalapan Township is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey. It was named after a word in the Native American language Lenape that means "land of good bread." The township was formed in 1848 by the New Jersey Legislature and has a population of about 40,000 people as of the last Census. Children there can attend public school through the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District. For many divorcing parents, the assistance of a family law attorney becomes useful when child custody and child support are contested. A knowledgeable Manalapan family law lawyer at Goldstein Law Group can help you determine which battles are worth fighting and can present your case in a persuasive light to the court or a mediator.

Effect of Child Custody on Child Support

New Jersey parents are obliged to financially and otherwise support their children. When ordering child support, courts follow the formulas set forth in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which try to come close to the total amount that each parent would spend supporting the child if the family remained intact. This amount is allocated between the two parents based on the parents' incomes.

The court will look at the combined net incomes of the parents. This includes their wages, income from self-employment, any commissions, bonuses, dividend income, rent, pensions, workers' compensation, and unemployment insurance benefits. From this amount, the court will deduct items such as income taxes (what the correct amount of income/payroll taxes should be, not necessarily the specific taxes which a parent has withheld from his or her paycheck, which may be too high or too low, and therefore distorts the true net income the parent should be receiving each pay period!), mandatory retirement contributions, mandatory union dues, and the legal obligations that each parent may have to children from other relationships. A family law attorney can explain to Manalapan residents which items may be deducted in their situation.

The Guidelines assume that one parent is the primary custodial parent (the parent of primary residence, or the “P.P.R.”) and that this person will spend more and will have higher fixed expenses in the form of providing shelter or furniture for the child. However, a parent who does not have primary residential (the parent of alternate residence or “P.A.R.”) custody but with whom a child spends more than two overnights each week (an average of 28% of the total overnights, on a monthly basis) is entitled to an adjustment based on how much time he or she spends with the child. Achieving this 28% threshold triggers the use of the “shared parenting” child support guidelines worksheet, as opposed to the “sole parenting” guidelines worksheet.

The court will look at whether either parent is underemployed or unemployed by choice. It will evaluate the parent's potential earning capacity and may calculate the child support based on the imputed income, rather than the parent's actual income. When one of the parents cares for young children rather than putting the children in daycare, he or she can receive an offset for the childcare expenses that would be necessary to work.

In general, the Guidelines do not apply to children over 18 or who have graduated from high school. Otherwise, support terminates only if the support order includes a date on which it terminates or a parent files papers with the court asking that it be terminated. Sometimes, New Jersey parents are ordered to contribute to the support of a child over 18 who attends college or vocational/trade school full time, but the court's priority is the needs of minor children. Support will generally continue until a child is emancipated.

Contact a Family Law Lawyer in the Manalapan Area

At Goldstein Law Group, we offer experienced divorce lawyers who have helped many families in the Manalapan area resolve their child custody and child support issues. We understand that emotions may run high during divorce and strive to help our clients pursue what they feel is best for their families. You can reach our Manalapan family law attorneys at 732-967-6777 or via our online form. We also have provided our services to individuals in New Brunswick, East Brunswick, and Old Bridge, among other New Jersey communities.

 
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