Robert A. Bonavito, CPA PC

NJ Forensic Accountant Explains How Child Support is Calculated

Video Transcript 

My name is Robert Bonavito, New Jersey Forensic Accountant. This video is part of a series of videos where I discuss forensic accounting topics for educational purposes only. If this was a litigated matter, I would take a different approach, have different conclusions based on different facts and circumstances.

My name is Robert Bonavito, New Jersey Forensic Accountant. When you get divorced, one of the issues that people usually ask me about is, "How much is child support? How do they calculate child support?" You know, I say, "Listen," I said, "You know, child support is not like alimony where you get a tax deduction, you know. It's basically for the child and in New Jersey, we have guidelines, and these guidelines are based on your net income, and it tells you how much you have to pay. Now most of the time you have to use these guidelines, and if you don't use them, your lawyer will have to fight on your behalf so that you could say either you want more money or what you want to pay less money based on certain circumstances. But basically you have to use these guidelines in child support. I'll give you a quick example, let's say you have spouse one and two. Spouse one's making a $1000 a week and spouse two is making $500, their net is $1500 and they have two kids. Okay, if you go to the child support guidelines, the weekly support is going to be $324. Okay, this is, you know, roughly a third and two-thirds, so we divide that by three and it should be $108.

So this spouse is gonna have to pay $108 and this spouse is gonna have to pay $216. It's that simple, you know, it's based on your net income and you go to the support tables, and you calculate it. Usually it's not a big issue, but if there's some kind of special circumstances where $324 is not enough because of special needs and such like that, then your attorney is gonna fight for you. And we will go in and prepare an analysis to show that, no, $324 is not enough, we need $2,324 because of this or that, and you know, as long as we cross our t's and dot our i's, we should be successful. So when it comes to alimony, if you're a basic case, you could probably use the support guidelines, but take a look at it, sit down, think about it, see if it's enough, see if it's too much. If it's not, you want to talk to your attorney, you want to bring in a forensic accountant and you want to fight it. My name's Robert Bonavito, if you have any questions on this video, please feel free to email me.

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