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As you may already likely know, child support and spousal support are two separate divorce-related terms to be finalized in your proceedings. However, you may not know how these two arrangement may affect one another, if at all. Continue reading to learn how your and your former spouse’s shared children may affect your spousal support order and how an experienced Bergen County alimony attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can help you better understand this concept.

Does having children affect alimony calculations?

Before all else, you must understand that the New Jersey family court adheres to comprehensive Child Support Guidelines when calculating the monthly payments a supporting parent should give to a receiving parent. Essentially, these guidelines are based on the adjusted income of both parents.

Now, the formula to calculate adjusted income may be complex. But the one thing that you must know is that it factors in alimony obligations. This is regardless of whether one parent is already paying alimony from a previous marriage; one parent is already receiving alimony from a previous marriage; or a new alimony obligation is likely to be imposed in the parents’ current divorce proceedings.

With that being said, the amount of alimony a supporting parent pays or is expected to pay will be deducted from their adjusted income. Then, the amount of alimony a receiving parent accepts or is expected to accept will be added to their adjusted income. This ultimately causes the final child support order to fluctuate.

Does the number of children I have affect alimony calculations?

Referring back to the state of New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines, the amount of child support a support parent is expected to pay may depend on the number of children they share with their former spouse. As of 2024, these numbers are as follows:

  • If you and your former spouse share one child: you may be expected to contribute 17 percent of your combined income toward your child’s expenses.
  • Two children: 25 percent of your combined adjusted income.
  • Three children: 29 percent of your combined adjusted income.
  • Four children: 31 percent of your combined adjusted income.
  • Five or more children: 35 percent or more of your combined adjusted income.

Therefore, if you and your former spouse, contribute more of your combined income toward your child’s expenses, you may have a lower adjusted income. And with a lower adjusted income, you may have less to pay for alimony. This is a roundabout way of saying, yes, the number of children you and your former spouse share may indirectly affect the alimony order the court finalizes in your divorce proceedings.

We understand if you find this to be wildly complicated. You cannot and should not go into your divorce proceedings without effective legal representation from a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. Contact our office, McNerney & McAuliffe, today.

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