Figuring out how the parents are going to support their kids after divorce is an important part of the divorce mediation process. Sometimes, divorce mediation clients come to us at Westfield Mediation, LLC, and say that they have worked things out with their soon-to-be ex-spouse, and they have decided that there won't be any child support. Well… it does not really work that way.
As we tell our clients, child support is a right of the children and can't be waived by the parents. The state has created a legal obligation to support your children, and provide them with basic essentials including food, housing, clothing, health care, etc. The kids are entitled to their full amount.
So, how do we figure out what the child support amount is? In New Jersey, we have an equation for calculating child support based on income , the amount of time each parent spends with the kids, the age of the kids, and who covers expenses like child care and health care. The amount of child support can vary over time as parents' incomes and parenting schedules change. Other child expenses like camp, sports, tutoring or college are not included in the child support amount, but are also determined in the parenting plan that you create in mediation. In divorce mediation, we guide you through this process to help you reach an understanding of parenting and support and an agreement that works for your family's emotional and financial needs.