How do you calculate child support if your earn more than the guidelines?
The calculation in NJ is straight forward if your combined family income is less than $187,000. You plug in the details of your parenting time arrangement and respective incomes and the formula spits out a number.
What do you do if your income is above the maximum? You Negotiate!!!
One would hope that the parent paying the child support will fully cover what the children need. However control issues and power struggles can get in the way here. The line “She will just spend it on herself” has been heard a few times…
If you are the parent likely to receive the child support this is a very important area in which to have accurate numbers. How much do you spend on clothes? How much do their activities cost? If they play a travel sport have you included the cost of the away tournaments and the activities and meals when they are at these events? Do the children have their own money (allowances are a great way to teach you kids how to manage money) or do you hand out $30 here and there for them to go to a movie or go to the mall. Who will pay for the birthday gifts for the parties that they are invited to? When you go to Starbucks, do they get a cookie and a hot chocolate? How much do they spend every month on I-tunes for new music or for on line subscriptions? I could go on and on with all the little ways you spend money on your children that are usually forgotten.
While you might think that this is a small number, and it might be, it does add up and unless you have a very high income you will notice the pinch unless you plan for it.
If you do not accurately account for how much you spend on your children and receive enoughto pay for them your children will be the ones who suffer.
Build a spreadsheet and list everything you spend for a few months. This sound stedious but it is well worth the effort. Use your debit card and you will create a paper trail that is easy to look back on. You will likely be quite surprised when you add it all up.
In the event that you end up in a spitting match with your X over dollars for the kids a record ofthe actual amounts will be helpful for a mediator or the courts.
I know it is my Mantra…..Having knowledge and understanding of your situation will allow you to make better decisions and will greatly strengthen your bargaining position in your negotiations.