Why is My Child Support So High?

In almost every case involving children, a court will make an order providing for child support for the child or children, paid to the custodial parent. The support is meant to help defray the cost of the child’s every day expenses, such as housing and food, as if the parents were still residing in the same household and both contributing to the shared bills and expenses. Child support is determined using a complex calculator that is based on a set of guidelines in New Jersey statutes. Each child support calculation and amount will be different, and in some cases, the amount to be paid can be far and above what a non-custodial parent was expecting. It is not uncommon for non-custodial parents to feel like their child support payments are high.

One factor that can send child support upward is the amount of parenting time the non-custodial parent has with the children. If the non-custodial parent has two or fewer overnights a week with the children, a different child support worksheet will be used than if the non-custodial parent had more overnights. The reason for this is to include an adjustment for only the variable expenses the non-custodial parent has during visitation, as opposed to the other child support worksheet, which accounts for both variable and fixed expenses. Variable expenses are expenses such as food or entertainment. Controlled costs are those such as mortgage payments or utility bills.

Another factor that can deeply impact child support is health insurance premiums. If the custodial parent is responsible for payment health insurance premiums for the children, this cost may be included in the child support worksheet. Health insurance is often costly, so including this extra adjustment can really change the amount of support due. If a child has recurring health care expenses, these may also modify the child support.

Necessary work-related daycare costs are also another reason child support may drastically increase. Childcare can be very expensive, especially for young children not yet in full-time school. When included in a child support calculation, this means a non-custodial parent is helping defray this expense for the custodial parent, and so necessarily, the child support will be high.

Child support calculations are highly specific to each family and child. We can help you understand your child support obligation. Call us today at (732) 529-6937 for an appointment.