How Does the Court Calculate Child Support?
Calculating Child Support
Well, in New Jersey, child support is based on the income of both parties. So we take the weekly salary of the father, and the weekly salary of the mother. We subtract the taxes that are taken out of your paycheck every week, and we’re left with the net amount. Then we add those two numbers together. After we get that sum, we figure out what percentage of that sum does each parent contribute. So for example, if one parent earns seven hundred dollars a week and the other parent earns three hundred dollars a week, together they have a thousand dollars, but of that thousand dollars, the seven hundred dollar contributor represents seventy percent of the weekly income that’s available, and then of course the other parent represents thirty percent of the income. Then we take that one thousand dollars a week and we go to a chart that puts out by the state of New Jersey. Across the top of the chart is how many children are in the family, one, two, three, four and so on, and along the up and down axis of the chart, is how much available income is there from the two parents when we combine their weekly salaries.
So in this example let’s say there are two children and we have a thousand dollars a week from the two parents. We run our fingers through the chart and at that point of intersection, that’s the total amount of child support that the parents would have to come up with to support the child or children, and this is just a random number but let’s say that box at that point of intersection, there’s the number two hundred. That means the parent who has the seven hundred dollars a week income, that parent would contribute seventy percent of the two hundred dollars or a hundred and forty dollars a week as child support. That’s really it, of course the attorneys and the courts we have computer programs that will do this calculation for us, but that’s the real backbone of how we come up with the child support amount.