During a divorce, your first priority is always going to be the well-being of your children. At Rozin | Golinder Law, we understand this and make it our first priority, too.
Custody is most likely your first concern when starting your divorce matter. You want to make sure that, first and foremost, your children are continuing their lives in a situation that is best for them and one that is as stress-free as possible given the circumstances.
Sole Physical Custody vs. Shared Physical Custody
Remember that, when child custody is decided, the courts will look at what is in the best interests of your child or children. In New Jersey, custody is divided into two categories: sole physical custody and shared physical custody.
Many people believe that “sole” physical custody means the other parent has no time with the child/children. However, sole vs. shared physical custody usually refers to a “sole” vs. “shared” parenting time arrangement for purposes of child support. Thus, a “sole” parenting time arrangement does not mean no time with the children, but actually relates to child support calculations.
In situations of a sole parenting time arrangement, the residential parent or Parent of Primary Residence, as they are referred to in NJ, will have the child for a majority of the time. The other parent has visitation and parenting time as well, but it is limited to 104 overnights or less per year. 104 or less overnights is considered a “sole” parenting time arrangement for purposes of calculating child support.
On the other hand, a shared parenting time arrangment will allow the child to go back and forth between the homes of each parent, allowing continuing and frequent contact with both parents. A “shared” parenting time arrangement calls for more than 104 overnights with the non Parent of Primary residence for purposes of calculating child support.
This is usually great news, as your children can still spend time with both of their parents. However, your financial situation may have changed since your divorce. You may have had to go back to work or move in order to compensate for the loss of a second income. This means that you may need financial support in order to make sure your children are properly cared for.
A question remains for many in these situations: can you still recieve child support if you share residential custody with your ex?
Calculating Child Support for Shared Physical Custody
In New Jersey, the courts look at a several things when calculating child support payments, including but not limited to:
- The income of each parent
- The number of overnights the child spends with each parent
- The expenses associated with caring for each child (for example, healthcare or childcare)
In order for custody to be considered ”shared” in terms of child support, each parent must host the child for at least 105 nights per year. Courts in New Jersey will essentially award the parent who has the child more times overnight, more child support. The more nights you have the child, the less support you will be required to pay.
If two parents split custody exactly 50/50, the parent with a higher income will usually be required to pay at least some support to the parent with a lower income.
Working for the Best Interest of Your Children
We understand that child custody and child support calculations can seem complex. That’s why we at Rozin | Golinder Law are here to listen to your situation, offer legal advice, and explain what your options are.
Because all families are unique, our attorneys are here to offer unique solutions. We can help ease your worries by providing you with honest and compassionate counsel..
Need legal representation? Contact our New Jersey family law attorneys at (732) 810-0034 for a no-fee consultation.