Child Support

Child Care Expenses Cannot be an Expense of a Residential Parent who is Unemployed When Awarding Child Support

The family law, child support case of Elrom v. Elrom, 20-2-5887, App. Div is an appeal of the alimony and child support provisions contained in a final judgment of divorce. The court reviewed the methods and basis for imputing income to parties, who recently or currently hold full-time employment. We find no error in the trial judge’s application and use of different methods to input income to each party. However, we reject as unsupported the addition of child-care expenses when the residential parent was unemployed. The Child Support Guidelines recognize the need for child care when imputing income to the residential parent by equitably adjusting that parent’s imputed income by his or her share of necessary child-care costs. Child Support Guidelines, Pressler & Verniero, Current N.J. Court Rules, comment 12 on Appendix IX-A to R. 5:6A at 2635. Further, such costs may be added when an unemployed parent obtains full-time employment. Finally, we vacate the addition of the cost of the children’s extracurricular activities, as no support was provided for separate treatment of these child care expenses, which generally are included in the Guidelines support award.

Reference: Case & Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 219 N.J.L.J. 705 (March 2, 2015)

Filed Under: Family Law; Child Support

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