Can a Mother Pay Child Support in New Jersey?
When thinking about the concept of child support, you may automatically assume that this involves a father paying money to a mother. While it is true that this is the most common scenario in the state of New Jersey, there are definitely exceptions. The state itself prides itself on its gender neutrality, especially in the context of divorces and child custody considerations. When you examine how the laws are written, it becomes clear that fathers are just as entitled to child support as mothers.
With all that said, it is best to learn how child support is actually calculated in New Jersey before you jump to conclusions. There are very specific circumstances in which a mother might be required to pay child support to a father. If you want to learn more about whether you are eligible for child support as a father, it is best to consult with a legal expert who thoroughly understands family law.
Determining Who Pays Child Support in New Jersey
To figure out whether a mother will be required to pay child support, it is important to understand the underlying purpose of these payments. Child support payments are intended to ensure that spouses are still contributing financially to the upbringing of their children, even if they are no longer living in the same house. Because of this, only parents who have primary custody of children are eligible to receive child support payments.
When Might a Mother be Required to Pay Child Support?
There are a number of possible scenarios that might result in a mother paying child support payments. First and foremost, the mother needs to be earning significantly more than the father. Secondly, the mother cannot have primary custody. This means that the father must have shown New Jersey courts that there are serious doubts about the mother’s fitness as a parent. There are a number of possible factors that may have led to this:
- The mother has a history of abusing the children
- The mother has a substance abuse problem
- The mother has shown a history of neglect towards the children
- The mother has spent almost no time with the children (perhaps focusing too heavily on her career)
- The mother has been found guilty of serious crimes
- The mother has exhibited mental instability
If a father can prove that a mother is not fit to have primary custody and the mother has only limited visitation rights, it stands to reason that the mother should still contribute financially to the upbringing of the children. That being said, this is only really possible if the mother is still managing to earn a significant amount of income, despite all of the potential issues listed above. Things like substance abuse, mental instability, and criminal charges may impact her ability to maintain employment and earn income.
Getting Legal Help
As a father, you are legally entitled to child support. Reach out to Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law today, and we will make sure that you are getting the financial assistance you deserve as you raise your children.