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What is Considered an “Essential” Childcare Expense in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Guardianships

If you want to know how much you stand to receive (or pay) in child support, it is important to understand what the state defines as an essential childcare expense. This is not always as straightforward as you might imagine, especially since the term “essential” is a somewhat subjective concept. What do your children really need to be happy, safe, and healthy? Different parents might give completely different answers depending on their values, their incomes, and their lifestyles. But what does the family court in New Jersey say about this subject?

Basic Necessities

The basic necessities for raising a child are fairly straightforward. Unicef states that all children have universal needs and right, such as:

  • Decent shelter
  • Nutritious food
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Clean air
  • Recreation
  • Clean water
  • Opportunities to practice their culture, language, and religion

As a parent, you can expect to pay for these expenses in your child support obligations.

Unicef also makes it clear that “wants” are non-essential, such as:

  • Clothing in the latest style
  • Bicycles
  • Holidays
  • A private bedroom
  • A computer
  • A TV
  • An unlimited allowance
  • Fast food/restaurants

Although your child support payments might end up going toward these “wants,” their “needs” should always be prioritized.

What About Nannies and Babysitters?

New Jersey makes it clear that the cost of babysitters and nannies may be factored into your child support obligations – but only if these costs are “work-related.” This means that if a parent needs to hire a babysitter in order to attend work, they may receive child support funding for this expense. But if they simply hire a babysitter so they can hang out with friends and engage in other leisurely activities, child support will not cover these expenses.

Childcare Expenses for High-Net-Worth Children are Calculated Differently

You should also note that child support for children in high-net-worth families may be calculated differently. This is because the children become accustomed to a much higher standard of living due to the affluence of their parents. They may engage in expensive hobbies like horseback riding or skiing. They may also attend prestigious private schools or receive medical care from expensive physicians.

Due to these higher standards, the definition of an “essential” childcare cost might change considerably if you or your spouse has a high net worth. For example, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s recent divorce settlement involved Kim K receiving monthly child support payments in the amount of $200,000. This is not uncommon for high-net-worth parents, and celebrities, in particular, must factor in additional costs for things like security.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in New Jersey?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in New Jersey, look no further than Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing parents approach issues like child support with a measure of confidence and efficiency. With our help, you can receive – and pay – exactly what is required under New Jersey law. This helps you pursue financial security and promote the best interests of your children. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.