Parents have a legal obligation to support their children, whether or not they have ever been married. This obligation is governed by support guidelines, which are different in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In New Jersey, the obligation may last longer and can include a contribution to a child’s college education. Both states’ guidelines provide for a basic amount of monthly support to be paid to the parent with whom the children primarily live (or, if you have an equally shared custody arrangement, by the higher-income parent to the lower-income parent). Other items may be added on top of that basic amount, such as contributions to the cost of child care, health care and school tuition.
In addition to child support, PA and NJ support guidelines provide for support to be paid to a spouse under certain circumstances. Alimony pendente lite may be awarded while a divorce is pending; alimony is the term used for payments to an ex-spouse once a divorce is finalized.