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Imputation of Income for Calculation of Child Support

C9B45D2B-7B08-4C28-8E58-44D9B10DB357.jpegNew Jersey Courts are authorized to impute income for the purpose of determining child support when a parent is found to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed without cause. See Caplan v. Caplan,182 N.J. 250, 268-70, 864 A.2d 1108 (2005) (stating parent's ability to earn income, or "his [or her] human capital," should be "theoretically activated for the purpose of evaluating his [or her] support obligation" and the amount of income that "should be imputed to him [or her]"). "`In treating the matter of support, our courts have always looked beyond the [parent's] claims of limited resources and economic opportunity. They have gone far to compel a parent to do what in equity and good conscience should be done for [the] children.'" Lynn v. Lynn, 165 N.J.Super. 328, 341, 398 A.2d 141 (App. Div.) (quoting Mowery v. Mowery, 38 N.J.Super. 92, 102, 118 A.2d 49 (App.Div. 1955), certif. denied, 20 N.J. 307, 119 A.2d 791 (1956)), certif. denied, 81 N.J. 52, 404 A.2d 1152 (1979). Thus, a "`court has every right to appraise realistically [a] defendant's potential earning power,'" ibid. (quoting Mowery, supra, 38 N.J.Super. at 102, 118 A.2d 49), and examine "potential earning capacity" rather than actual income, when imputing the ability to pay support. Halliwell v. Halliwell, 326 N.J.Super. 442, 448, 741 A.2d 638 (App. Div.1999).

Child Support Beyond Age 23

 N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67(a)(1) sets the age of 19 for termination of child support unless, among other things, a different date is ordered by the court, "which shall not extend beyond the date the child reaches the age of 23.  A court, however, can order continued financial support after a child's 23rd birthday in exceptional circumstances such as where a child has a physical or mental disability.  85503015-D1D7-4869-9C7D-F7BD3433F5BB.jpeg

Failure to pay child support can hurt a child

It is widely known that children can suffer the consequences of a divorce. All too often, these consequences are the result of a failure of one parent to pay child support. There can be legitimate reasons for an inability to pay, and if something occurs that would enable the parent to pay child support, the funds should be forthcoming.

Child custody and alimony in the 21st century

Gender equality is a current buzzword in New Jersey that most people are becoming more and more familiar with. Along with gender equality is the term stay-at-home dad. More and more women are becoming the main breadwinners in the home as it becomes more acceptable for dads to stay home with the children. This can have unintended ramifications in the eventuality that the marriage ends in divorce. More women are paying child support and even alimony.

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