Child support dates back to 1935 when the federal government instituted the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program. Unfortunately, it continues to be one of the most misunderstood concepts among New Jersey couples who go through a divorce. Based on current state and federal laws, there are three models for child support, and the amount of child support for your situation depends on the model used in your case.
Income shares model
The income shares model is a child support arrangement that involves both spouses continuing to provide financial support for their children at the same rate that they did before their divorce. This model allows the children to continue enjoying the same standard of living they experienced before their parents divorced. The income shares model involves combining the salary of both parents and calculating each parent’s financial obligation based on a statutory table or schedule.
Income percentage model
Unlike the income shares model, the income percentage model only considers the non-custodial parent’s income. In this model, the court assumes that the custodial parent will continue spending most of his or her income on the child. Only six states rely on this model, and New Jersey is not one of them.
The Melson Formula
Only three states use the Melson Formula, and New Jersey is not one of them. The Melson Formula is essentially a more complex version of the income shares model. In addition to calculating the child’s financial needs, the Melson Formula also accounts for the financial needs of both parents.
New Jersey family courts rely on the income shares model to determine monthly child support obligations, as do most states in the US. The amount that a court will order in your case depends on the income of both parents and the number of children they share.