Say, for instance, that you became an instant stepparent when you married your spouse. But say that now you are, unfortunately, seeking a divorce from your spouse. In this case, you may be wondering what your child support settlement proceedings will look like. Follow along to find out how child support works for a stepchild and how a proficient Morristown child support lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can fight for a resolution that meets the best interest of both you and your stepchild.
How does child support work for a stepchild in the state of New Jersey?
The short answer is that you may not be ordered to pay child support for your stepchild in the state of New Jersey. That is, the family court may not even consider your net income versus that of your former spouse/your stepchild’s biological parent when finalizing their settlement agreements.
Though, this is unless your stepchild’s other parent had terminated their parental rights and you went through the formal process of adopting them. What’s more, your child support obligation with your adopted stepchild may not falter when you or your former spouse remarries. Though, this may call for a post-judgment modification later down the road.
Importantly, your child supports obligation ultimately does not affect your order to pay spousal support.
How does child support work for an adopted or biological child in the state of New Jersey?
When it comes to adopted and biological children, the New Jersey family court may look into varying factors before landing on a child support decision they deem fit. Firstly, the court will look at the net income of both you and your former spouse. This is because there are set guidelines in place for families with a combined net income of anywhere between $8,840 to $187,200 per year after taxes. And this is thanks to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.
But besides net income, the court may also consider the following pivotal factors:
- Your adopted and/or biological children’s standards of living that were established when you and your former spouse were still married.
- Your adopted and/or biological children’s medical needs, educational needs, etc.
- Whether any of your adopted and/or biological children have special needs.
- The age and health of both you and your former spouse.
- The earning capacities of both you and your former spouse.
- The separate assets and liabilities that both you and your former spouse possess.
- The child custody settlement agreement that has already been enforced by the New Jersey family court.
The first step you must take for your settlement agreement is to make a phone call. Without further ado, pick up the phone and contact a talented Morristown family law attorney from Graves Andrews, LLC today.