No matter what relationship exists between the parents and the child, the parent has a responsibility to care for the child. Shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities should all be provided for. When parents divorce, one often passes the caregiving responsibilities to the other and takes no responsibility. New Jersey child support laws help ensure that parents take care of their children.
The Process For New Jersey Child Support After Divorce
The Child Support Agency works in partnership with the Division of Family Development, the Office of Child Support Services and the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS), the State Title IV-D agency, County Welfare Agencies (CWA), the Administrative Office of the Courts(AOC), the County Family Divisions of the Superior Court and the County Probation Division. Parents who wish to apply need to print an application form which they must fill and sign, before mailing it to the Family Division in their county of residence. Those who do not know the address of the Family Division where they reside can check the directory.
The applicant must provide as much information about themselves as possible and the noncustodial parent (obligor). It makes the process of establishing child support easier by providing accurate information. You will need to provide details such as your full name, date, birth, Social Security number, race, last known location, phone number, and physical descriptive details such as hair, eye color, height, and so on.
Locating The Other Parent
They use the Federal Parent Locator Service and the State Parent Locator Service locate the other parent. These services allow the CSA to check the information against any existing records, and help pinpoint the exact location. Once they find the other parent, the parent will receive a notice about the child support case.
If the parents were married at the time the child was born, then the husband will be assumed to be the father of the child. If the parents did not marry, but the man consents to the fact that he is the father of their child, he may sign a Certificate of Parentage. A minor (or teen parent) can determine paternity without the consent of a parent, legal guardian or other adult. If the father denies that the child is his child, both parents will need to undergo a genetic test.
They presume that the man is the father if the test returns a minimum 95% chance of fatherhood. After establishment of paternity, CSA can decide on the appropriate amount of child support. There is a $6 one-time fee requirement for parents who apply for full child support services.
How To Receive Child Support
The New Jersey Child Support Program offers two payment options for parents who receive child support payments: direct deposit and the New Jersey (NJ), Debit MasterCard. Both are safer than sending checks by mail and the processing of payment is faster.
Direct deposit allows parents to receive child support payments directly into their checking or savings accounts. To sign up for this method, parents must download and fill a Direct Deposit Authorization Form.
Direct deposit is not the preferred method of payment for parents who don’t specify it. Parents have automatic enrollment in the New Jersey Debit MasterCard program. Additionally, parents who do not specify that they prefer direct deposit as their method of receiving payments will be receive a NJ Debit Card. Then they will receive their payments to the card account. You can also use the card to make purchases and get cash at ATMs.
The Maximum Amount That Your Family Can Receive
Child support calculations in New Jersey are determined by pre-established guidelines. These guidelines are based on an Income-Shares Model, which considers the income of both parents. They also consider other factors like childcare, expenses, medical expenses, etc. While establishing the child support order, the court may also establish an accompanying medical support order to provide health coverage for the child. You can find the full child support guidelines online.
For simplicity and ease of use, a Child Support Quick Calculator is also available. This is not a legal tool, but rather a self-help tool that can give parents an idea of how much to expect from the child support order.
Enforcement of Child Support
The Child Support Agency identifies cases where the noncustodial parent has defaulted on payments and takes certain actions to collect the overdue child support. These enforcement actions vary and include:
- The employer receives a notice to deduct an amount from the paycheck of the parent.
- They report the parent to credit agencies which would result to lower credit score if their child’s support arrears exceed $1000.
- Parents whose arrears exceed a month’s child support by at least $25 may have lottery winnings of $600 and above, or casino winnings of $50000 and above diverted to pay for their outstanding child support
- Once the child support payments owed exceeds a certain threshold, state and federal tax refunds may be intercepted to settle the debt.
- Stocks, bonds, and money in bank accounts can be seized to pay off child support of parents who have arrearages.
- License suspension
- Passport Denial