After the holidays, it is not uncommon for people to feel extra pressure on their finances. For those who may be thinking about divorce, it may be one of the most worrying aspects of planning for the future. As the cost of living continues to rise, it seems that wages rarely keep pace with it. It is estimated that in excess of 50 percent of jobs in New Jersey pay an hourly rate of less than $20.

According to United Way of Northern New Jersey, around 37 percent of the state’s residents are treading a fine line financially. The cost of housing is one of the greatest expenditures, while those with children may find that the cost of childcare swallows up another large chunk of their salaries. By the time one factors in the cost of utilities and other regular expenditure, there may be precious little left for contingency planning or emergencies.

Around 1.2 million families struggle to live from one paycheck to the next. Many single parents fall into this category, as they seek to establish new households and working arrangements. It may be possible to cut costs to the barest minimum and get by; however, this allows no margin at all for the slightest deviation from one’s budget. In order to provide that cushion, the household’s income would have to be significantly higher, potentially as much as double the basic figure, depending on one’s circumstances.

When considering the amount needed to provide adequate financial support to a family, it is not only the obvious and most basic necessities that must be provided. Some children have additional needs, medically or educationally. New Jersey residents can help themselves best by gathering as much information together as possible about all costs associated with their children’s needs in preparation for child support and other essential payments during divorce discussions.

Source: pix11.com, “More than 1 in 3 people in New Jersey are struggling to afford the basics“, Christie Duffy, Jan. 17, 2017