Jersey City-New Jersey Family Law Attorney Santo Artusa focuses on frequently asked questions from new clients below interviewed by a local college student. The first section is about child support and parenting time issues. The second section is about child custody. The third section is about enforcing a family court order.
PART ONE- CHILD SUPPORT AND PARENTING TIME CASES:
Q: Mr. Artusa, how are child support and parenting time cases linked?
A: These cases can be linked but do not have to be. Parenting time is a factor with regard to child support but a person can bring a child support application without including parenting time. When a parent has overnight parenting time, these nights should be included in the New Jersey Child Support Guideline Worksheet. For information about how child support is calculated, visit this page: Child Support in New Jersey.
Q: The child support obligor (the person who pays) does not work all the time, how will child support be determined?
A: Depending on the nature of his of her work and if a Judge feels that he or she is not working to his of her potential, the Judge can impute an income to that parent.
Q: What does imputing income mean?
A: When a Court finds that one or both parents or not working to their ability, a Judge can use an income that he or she should be making. For example in a recent case I had, the father came to the hearing with no proof of income yet he testified that he worked in construction for over 10 years. He claimed that he made minimum wage. I asked the Judge to look up the wage statistics from the United States Department of Labor for construction workers and he found that his income should be almost triple that of minimum wage and that is the number he used as the father’s income.
Q: Can the Court force the person receiving child support to show proof of how the money is spent?
Q: Can the Court order a person’s employer to take money from their paycheck?
A: Yes a court can order a wage garnishment to take the money directly from the employees paycheck. This prevents people from avoiding their obligation.
Q: If a father wants to see his child but the mother does not let him, what can he do?
A: Just like a mother can seek child support with the help of the courts, a father can have parenting time with his child with the help of the courts by filing an application for parenting time and obtaining a court order. The parents can attend mediation at the courthouse but if that fails, the Judge can determine what the parenting schedule should be. That schedule can always change in certain circumstances.
Q: How often can a parent see his child?
A: This depends on if the parents can agree or not and what the circumstances are. Every case is fact specific and there is no “cookie cutter” parenting schedule that everybody follows. There are many factors involved but the main concern is what is known as the best interests standard for the child. For example, if dad lives two hours away and dad wants to pick his child up from school and bring him to dad’s house and then bring him back in the morning to go to school, that may not be in the child’s best interest. Again, it may be in the child’s interests but it really depends on all the factors involved.
For more information or to setup an appointment with Jersey City attorney Santo Artusa, contact us on 973-337-9643 or 201-706-7910.
WHAT OTHER CASES DOES YOUR FIRM HANDLE IN NEW JERSEY?
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE-RESTRAINING ORDER CASES JERSEY CITY
DIVORCE CASES IN HUDSON COUNTY
JERSEY CITY-NJ CHILD CUSTODY CASES
JERSEY CITY-NJ CHILD SUPPORT CASES
CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATIONS IN NEW JERSEY FAMILY COURT
To view our Artusa Law Firm-family law and child custody video please see below: