Can Child Support Be Lowered if I Have Another Child?
After a divorce or separation, it is quite common for one or both parents to move on and start a new relationship. In many cases, this could mean more children. Another child can profoundly change the family dynamic and will require shifting around financial resources in order to accommodate the new baby. The child support calculation in New Jersey recognizes that a new child will require financial changes to that family. If you have had another child after the entry of a child support order for your child out of your previous relationship, you may need to file for a child support modification.
Child support is meant to provide for the financial needs of your child by helping the custodial parent provide resources with the approximate standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents still resided in the same residence. The child support calculation is set by New Jersey statute, so unlike spousal support, child support is not a subjective calculation. There is a long list of factors that will be taken into account by the court when deciding child support. Particular figures will be plugged into a child support worksheet, and the final amount of child support payable to the custodial parent will be computed automatically. One line that is notably absent is the number of people in the parent’s household. This is true for both the paying parent and the receiving parent. However, the birth of another child can impact a child support where a parent is under an order to pay child support for that child. The child support worksheet makes particular provision for “Child Support Orders for Other Dependents.” This means if you are under a child support order for another child, this is highly relevant for your child support calculation. Conversely, if you do not have a child support order and merely decide to make voluntary payments to the other parent, you very well may not receive credit for those voluntary payments on a child support worksheet. Accordingly, if you have another child, it is important to formalize any support payments through a court order to make sure you get proper credit for those payments on any subsequent child support worksheets. Even if you do not have a child support order for the other child, there is a line for “other dependent deduction.” This means that if the other child does live in your care, you may be entitled to an adjustment of your child support for another child.Child support calculations can be complicated and you need an Woodbridge Township family law attorney to help you. Contact us online or at (732) 529-6937 for an appointment to talk about your child and the support obligation.