You may assume that your former spouse may be assigned the payor of a child support order if they earn a higher salary than you. However, it may be wrong to make this sweeping assumption, as the New Jersey family court may not consider earning capacity as the end-all-be-all determining factor. Continue reading to learn how earning capacity might weigh into this order and how an experienced Morristown child support lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you understand what to expect.
Does earning capacity determine a child support order?
To calculate earning capacities, the New Jersey family court will look at both your and your former spouse’s gross incomes. More specifically, the court may consider your and your former spouse’s gross incomes to be made up of the following:
- Your and your former spouse’s compensations for services (i.e., wages, tips, commissions, etc).
- Your and your former spouse’s overtime, part-time, and severance earnings.
- Your and your former spouse’s bonuses and royalties.
- Your and your former spouse’s unreported cash payments.
- Your and your former spouse’s unemployment benefits or workers’ compensation benefits.
- Your and your former spouse’s distributions from personal injury awards or Social Security.
- Your and your former spouse’s lottery winnings or net gambling winnings.
If the court finds your former spouse to have a higher gross income, then they may order them to share your child’s expenses proportionally (i.e., 60 to 40 percent split, 70 to 30 percent split, etc). With this, the assigned non-custodial parent will give their contribution to the assigned custodial parent.
What other financial factors might the New Jersey family court account for?
Overall, the New Jersey family court is attempting to make a child support order that is in the best interest of your child; meaning, an order that makes your child’s life as unaffected from your divorce as possible. With that being said, the court may account for other financial factors, such as the following:
- Your and your former spouse’s tax and deduction considerations.
- The cost of your child’s basic needs (i.e., food, clothing, shelter, etc).
- The cost of your child’s education (i.e., tuition, school supplies, transportation, etc).
- The cost of your child’s special care needs.
- The cost of your child’s health insurance and other medical needs.
- The child custody order and alimony order already in place.
- The cost of your and your former spouse’s travel for child visitation.
- Any other financial factors considered relevant by the court.
Though it is possible to modify a child support order later on, it is rather difficult. So when it comes to your initial dispute, there is no time like the present to get started on your argument. So please contact a skilled Morristown family law attorney from Graves Andrews, LLC at your earliest possible convenience.