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How child support law works versus how the law is viewed

Some New Jersey parents who are required to pay child support may feel that the formulas that are used to calculate the payment amounts are unfair. In a recent study, researchers at Arizona State University examined the responses and opinions regarding child support laws, alimony and child custody of groups of people in both Arizona and England. The researchers had the participants review specific cases and grant a certain amount of child support as if they were the presiding judge. The amounts earned by both the father and mother were adjusted to determine how the participant adjusted the child support that they would award the custodial parent.

It was found that the participants were more receptive to adjusting the support amount based on what the noncustodial parent was making. Respondents also found that they believed that the amount of child support should be increased or decreased based on the mother's earnings. Additionally, participants took the income of the stepparent into account should a parent remarry.

The study made it very clear how the participants felt about child support. However, a child custody attorney noted that, in most cases, the party that is responsible for making the payments almost always feels that they are paying too much while the party who is receiving the support is awarded too little.

Each state has a set of guidelines for courts to follow when they are determining child support amounts. In some cases, however, there may be a set of circumstances present that a judge will take into account in ordering an amount that deviates from those guidelines. A family law attorney may be of assistance to a parent who believes that the guidelines should not apply.

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