What are the Child Support Guidelines? Are they meant to cover all expenses related to children?
Heidi Ann Lepp’s Answer:
In New Jersey, both parents have a continuing duty to support their children and children have a right to share in the wealth of their parents. Except in extreme income situations, the amount of child support a non-custodial parent pays is based on the Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines seek to allocate the costs of raising a child fairly between the parents. Guidelines child support include the child’s share of expenses for housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, un-reimbursed health care up to and including $250 per child per year, and other miscellaneous items. In order to arrive at Guidelines support, the Court uses the parents’ incomes (real or imputed), take into consideration whether alimony is paid, if there are mandatory deductions to parent’s income, whether there are other child support orders in effect, and the amount of overnight parenting time each parent exercises. Other expenses such as child care costs, health insurance for the child, predictable and recurring unreimbursed health care expenses, and other expenses approved by the Court such as private school tuition can be added to the calculations.