New Jersey applies strict guidelines based on a mathematical formula when determining child support. Since courts consider numerous factors, such as parents’ combined income, the number of children and child caring costs, it is unsurprising that the courts take a long time to finalize support orders.
Because of the court process’ complexity and lengthy duration, many parties agree to discuss and settle on child support arrangements outside of court. Fortunately, New Jersey family courts allow private settlements to provide flexibility for parents to amicably agree on the support details. But parties need to remember a couple of things.
The importance of providing correct information
For the computation to be accurate and just, both parties must provide complete and correct information about the factors that make up the child support formula. This includes income and child caring costs, like day care and health care expenses. If a parent misreports, let’s say, that their income is lower than it actually is, it will cause miscalculation and the child will receive lower support than they are entitled to. When agreeing on a child support amount, it is essential to keep the child’s best interest as the main priority.
Court approval to keep the agreement binding
Even though the law allows parents to negotiate outside of court, the parties must submit the child support agreement to the judge for review. This step ensures that the agreement terms comply with the Child Support Guidelines and do not place either party in a disadvantaged position.
This is why it is essential to work with a trustworthy legal professional who will ensure that you are receiving the full amount or not paying more than your fair share of child support.