New Jersey Child Support Definitions
In addition to this monthly amount, the Court will order the following as additional child support:
(1) Weekly unreimbursed cost of any health care, if predictable
and recurring, for the child(ren) that exceeds $250 per child per year.
(2) If approved by the court, predictable and recurring extraordinary expenses for the child(ren) that are not included in the child support awards may be added to the basic support amount.
The total of these additional expenses will be divided between the parties in proportion to the partiesí Percentage Share of Weekly Net Income.
1. Gross Weekly Income
For the purpose of these guidelines, gross income is all earned and unearned income that is recurring or will increase the income available to the recipient over an extended period of time.
Gross income, includes, but is not limited to, income from the following sources:
a.compensation for services, including wages, fees, tips, and commissions;
b.the operation of a business minus ordinary and necessary operating expenses;
c.gains derived from dealings in property;
d.interest and dividends (see IRS Schedule B);
e.rents (minus ordinary and necessary expenses-see IRS Schedule E);
f.bonuses and royalties;
g.alimony and separate maintenance payments received from the current or past relationships;
h.annuities or an interest in a trust;
i.life insurance and endowment contracts;
j.distributions from government and private retirement plans including Social Security, Veteranís Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, deferred compensation, Keoughs and IRAís;
k.personal injury awards or other civil lawsuits;
l.interest in a decedentís estate or a trust;
m.disability grants or payments (including Social Security disability);
n.profit sharing plans;
p.unemployment compensation benefits;
q.overtime, part-time and severance pay;
r.net gambling winnings;
s.the sale of investments (net capital gain) or earnings from investments;
t.income tax credits or rebates (including the federal Earned Income Credit and the N.J. homestead rebate);
u.unreported cash payments (if identifiable);
v.the value of in-kind benefits; and
Weekly Gross Income Does Not Include
a. means-tested income (i.e., based on the fact that the recipient has minimal income and requires government assistance to live) including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Deficit Reduction Act (DEFRA), General Assistance, Refugee Assistance, rent subsidies, food stamps, and Supplemental Security Income for the Aged, Blind or Disabled;
b. alimony, spousal support, or separate maintenance payments (the net amount after deducting the tax benefits, if known) to a current or former spouse;
c. child support received for children of another relationship;
d. non-income producing assets (e.g., undeveloped real estate, automobiles, jewelry, art, stocks and bonds) unless the court finds that the intent of the investment was to avoid the payment of child support;
e. income from children, unless the court determines that such income should be included because the child is a professional or has substantial income that reduces the familyís living expenses;
f. income from other household members (e.g., step-parents, grandparents, current spouse) who are not legally responsible for the support of the child for whom support is being established.
g. a government benefit based on a parentís earnings record, disability, or condition that is paid to or for the child (or the childís caretaker) for whom support is being determined (e.g., Black Lung, Veteranís Disability, Social Security) or other non-means-tested government benefits meant to reduce the cost of the child (e.g., adoption subsidies as provided by N.J.A.C. 10:121-2);
h. for modifications involving retirement income, the pro-rated amount of contributions to a voluntary plan that were previously included in gross income when the current support order was established; and
i. financial assistance for education including loans, grants, scholarships, veteranís education benefits, and awards provided under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (except post-service benefits).
2. Qualified Child Care Expenses
Qualified child care expenses are those incurred to care for a dependent who is under the age of 15 or is physically or mentally handicapped. These expenses must be necessary for the employment or job search of the parent. Child care expenses should be reasonable and should not exceed the level required to provide quality care for the child(ren) from a licensed source. Only the net cost of child care (after the federal tax credit is deducted) is added to the basic award. It is assumed that the parent paying for child care will apply for and receive the federal child care tax credit at the end of the tax year.
3. Weekly Cost of Health Insurance for the child for whom support is being determined
Since the cost of health insurance for children is excluded from the child support schedules, a parentís contributions to a health insurance policy which includes the child for whom support is being determined must be added to the basic support amount. Only the parentís cost of adding the child to the health insurance (medical and dental) policy is added to the basic support amount (i.e., the marginal premium cost to the parent to add the child to the policy). If the parent who is providing the health insurance has no proof of the cost of adding the child to the health insurance policy, the parentís total premium cost
should be divided by the number of persons covered by the policy (per capita). The result is then multiplied by the number of children for whom support is being determined to obtain the childís estimated share of the health insurance cost. For example, if the parentís total health insurance cost is $60 per week and there are four persons covered by the policy (the parent, the two children who are the subjects of the support order, and a new spouse), the per capita health insurance cost for the two children is $30 (($60 - 4 persons = $15) x
2 children = $30). If both parents provide health insurance for the
child, each parentís marginal cost of adding the child to the policy should be added together to determine the total health insurance cost for the child. If the cost of the health insurance policy is unknown at the time of the support establishment hearingí the parent may apply for a modification of the support order when such information becomes available.
4. Unreimbursed Health Care
Unreimbursed health care up to and including $250 per child per year are included in the child support schedules and are assumed to be paid by the custodial parent. Because they are part of the basic child support amount, these ordinary health care expenses are shared in proportion to the
relative incomes of the parents.
Predictable, Recurring Costs above $250 per child per year should be added to of unreimbursed health care expenses prior to adding them to the basic support amount. If both parents provide predictable, recurring unreimbursed health care for the child, the cost to each parent should be added together to determine the total unreimbursed health care costs. Each parentís direct health care expenses for the child above the $250 per child annual threshold are credited against hisor her share of the total support award. Unpredictable, Non-Recurring Costs above $250 per child per year-Health-care expenses for a child that exceed $250 per child per year that are not predictable and recurring should be shared between the parents in proportion to their relative incomes as incurred.
5. Court-approved Predictable and Recurring Costs for the Child(ren)
If approved by the court, predictable and recurring extraordinary
proved Predictableexpenses for the child that are not included in the child support awards may be added to the basic support amount.
Examples of extraordinary expenditures are visitation transportation, special diets, and private education costs for gifted or handicapped children.
Extraordinary expenses for a child that are not predictable and recurring should be shared between the parents in proportion to their relative incomes as incurred. Since these expenses are not included in the support award, the procedure for sharing such costs should be set forth in the general language of the order or judgment.
Each parentís direct spending on court-approved extraordinary expenses for the child are credited against his or her share of the total award.
6. Government Benefits received by the Child on behalf of either parent
If a child is receiving government benefits based on either parentís earning record, disability, or retirement, the amount of those benefits must be deducted from the total support award (regardless of the effect of the childís benefit payments on benefits paid to the parent). Such benefits include, but are not limited to: Social Security Retirement or Disability, Black Lung, and Veteranís Administration benefits. Also included are non-means-tested government benefits meant to offset the cost of the child such as adoption subsidies (N.J.A.C.
10:121-2). SSI, public assistance (TANF), and other means-tested benefits are not government benefits based on a parentís earnings record, disability or retirement and should not be included.
If the government benefit received by the child is greater than the
total support award (i.e., the amount of the total support award after deducting the government benefit is zero or less), the amount of the government benefit that is being paid to or for the child represents the support award.