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Divorce and How to Compromise on Child Support to Settle a Case

Nov 12, 2015 @ 09:22 AM — by Michael Green

Child support in New Jersey is generally based on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines which in turn are based on income and overnights.  If both parties in a two week period of time, where there are 14 overnights, share those overnights with the children, 7 nights for each, then generally that would be a shared physical custody parenting arrangement.  If both parties made comparable income as well, then in all likelihood little or no child support would be paid by either party.  However, if one party had more overnights than the other, in an instance where they are the parent of primary residence and the other party is the parent of alternate residence, then that party would more likely receive child support.  In addition, if the one party made more income than the other, it is more likely that the party making more in income would be paying child support.  

However, the parties, of their own choosing and for a variety of reasons, may choose to go off the guidelines and have child support paid on some agreed amount based on certain understandings or terms that should be related in any property or matrimonial settlement agreement.  For instance, if one party does not have the children for additional overnights, but they take care of the children during the day for a large part of the day, feed them dinner, do homework with them, while the other party is working, that may be an instance where the party taking care of the children during the day should receive a credit as if this time was overnights for the children and as to child support.  These types of credits for overnights, that aren't actually taken, in consideration of time spent taking care of the children, is one way to reach an amicable settlement as to child support.

It is also important to remember that child support is generally not waivable.  It is the money for the children.  At any point in the future, parties may choose to come back to court in the case of a substantial change in circumstance and seek to have child support modified.


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