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What you should know about child support

Child support is without a doubt one of the most contentious issues in divorce cases, often as highly contested as custody issues. One unfortunate side effect of this tension is that many parents argue about child support even after a support order has been established by the courts. Understanding how child support orders are determined and what the state and courts do to enforce these child support orders can help parents avoid legal hassles in the future.

There was a time that child support was largely left to the parents to work out amongst themselves, but lately the government has taken a more active role in ensuring that child support orders are established and followed. Like many states, New Jersey has government agencies that exist to seek and retrieve payments from parents who are not paying their court-mandated child support payments. This can be done either through garnishment of paychecks or seizing assets.

While there are a few guidelines that courts follow when establishing how much money is owed in child support (such as the income of both parents, the child's needs and the number of children), every circumstance and situation is unique. Because of this, courts can deviate from the guidelines depending on the circumstances.

In order to better understand your child support order and how it was determined, it is highly recommended that you enlist the aid of an attorney. Legal assistance can help you present your circumstances before the courts to ensure that you receive a child support order that is fair to all parties. If your circumstances change, an attorney can also help you modify the support order to reflect your changing circumstances.

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