Figuring out child support can be a complicated affair, and there are many variables at play, but an Ocean County, New Jersey judge may have added one more to the mix. On Tuesday, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Jones ruled that a parent could be compelled to pay extra child support when a child is deemed gifted. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines do not explicitly provide for an adjustment when a child is particularly talented in academics, sports or a particular extracurricular pursuit. “A court must use reason to interpret and apply the term on a fact-sensitive, case-by-case basis, using practical sense and logic, under the particular circumstances presented,” Judge Jones said according to the New Jersey Law Journal. “Even if a court finds that a child is gifted, a stipend of additional earmarked funds to support a child's development of such giftedness must be economically reasonable, with significant deference to each parent's financial situation and actual ability to pay.” This particular case saw a payor father being compelled to pay a little more support based on his daughter's acting talent. The unpublished opinion in P.S. v. J.S. is not presently binding on other courts. We'll let you know if that changes.
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