Probation Services - Child Support Enforcement

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The Probation Child Support Enforcement helps ensure the welfare and safety of children, families and communities in New Jersey by working with both parents to collect timely, consistent court-ordered child support, alimony and medical support. Probation is responsible for taking enforcement action when court-ordered current or past-due support is not being paid, or court-ordered health care coverage for a dependent child is not being provided.

Some of the ways Probation enforces unpaid child support obligations:

  • Income withholding
  • Enforcement hearings
  • Bench warrants
  • Suspended driver’s, occupational, or recreational licenses
  • Seizure of cash or cash-equivalent assets in bank accounts
  • Intercept federal or state tax refunds
  • Report judgments
  • Credit bureau reporting

What the program can do for you:

  • Locate parents who have been ordered to pay child support, known as obligors
  • Establish paternity
  • Establish and enforce support and medical orders
  • Collect support payments on behalf of parents to whom support is owed, known as obligees.

Guide to Child Support Enforcement in NJ

Phone: 1-877-NJKiDS1 (877-655-4371)

Fax: 609-984-3630

Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support Enforcement in NJ


1:How do I apply for child support?

You can apply for child support at your county’s Family Court, Board of Social Services (also known as county welfare agency), or online through the state’s Child Support Services website.

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2:Is there a fee to apply for child support services?

There is a one-time, $6 fee to apply for full child support services. If you receive public assistance, there is no fee. The child support services include location of the non-custodial parent (also known as payor/obligor), paternity establishment, medical support/health insurance establishment and enforcement of the child support order. There may be an additional fee for Family Court processing of motions/applications for support.

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3:After I file for child support, what will happen next?

The Family Court will schedule a hearing and notify both parents of the date, time and place.

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4:After the child support hearing, an order was issued. Who handles my case?

The order is sent to the Probation Division’s Child Support Enforcement Services Unit (Probation) to monitor and enforce the order.

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5: How is child support paid?

State law requires that child support be paid through income withholding.

The obligor (person ordered to pay child support or to contribute to health insurance coverage) is always responsible for making sure the money gets paid even when payments are not withheld.

If the income withholding payments don't cover the full amount of the order the obligor is responsible for sending the difference to Probation.

Make sure the case number, which starts with “CS” on your court paperwork, is on the check. Send to:

New Jersey Family Support Payment Center
PO Box 4880
Trenton, NJ 08650-4880

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6: Is there a way I can check what payments Probation has received?

Call 1-877-NJKiDS1 (1-877-655-4371) or go to www.njchildsupport.org for case and payment information.

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7: Can I request more child support?

If you can demonstrate a valid reason to the court for an increase or decrease in support, you can file a motion/application in the Family Division of Superior Court in the county where the support order was issued. There are kits with forms and instructions to help you file the motion/application.

Request a change to an existing child support order after a divorce.
Request a change to an existing order for couples that were never married.

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8: What if the obligor changes jobs?

The obligor is required to report any employment changes to Probation within 10 days of the change.

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9: Can I still get child support even if the obligor is unemployed, disabled or has other changes of circumstances?

Child support payments must be made in accordance with the existing court order. The obligor is responsible for payments even during periods of unemployment and disability.

In New Jersey, unemployment and some disability benefits are considered available income for supporting children. If the obligor is receiving unemployment benefits, an order to withhold child support will be sent to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, also known as Unemployment.

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10: I received child support directly from the obligor, but Probation still says that money is owed.

The order requires child support payments be made to the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center and monitored by Probation. Probation has no way of knowing about payments made directly, and not recorded on the automated system. Credit cannot be given to the payor/obligor without a court order. If the money is not owed to a welfare agency, you and the payor/obligor may agree that the payments were for child support, but Probation will still need a court order that sets the amount to be credited on your case.

Purchase of goods such as clothing or diapers don't count toward the court ordered child support.

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11: What happens if either parent moves out of the county, state or the country?

Contact the Probation Division that handles your case for more information.

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12: What happens if child support is collected through another state?

The other state is responsible for enforcement and forwards collections to New Jersey Probation Services for payment. If the obligor falls behind on their payments, Probation Services will request that the other state enforce the order.

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13: What happens if child support payments are not made or health insurance coverage is not provided?

If the obligor fails to make required payments or to maintain health insurance for the child, an enforcement hearing could be scheduled.

If health insurance coverage is not part of your current order, you can file a motion/application with the Family Division to request that it be added.

Request a change to an existing child support order after a divorce.
Request a change to an existing order for couples that were never married.

This motion will be decided at a hearing. Both parents must attend the hearing.

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14: I received an enforcement hearing notice about my child support case from Probation. Must I attend?

The obligor must be present at the hearing. The obligee—the parent who is receiving child support—might not have to be present unless the court documents indicate that attendance is required.

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15: What should the obligee bring to the hearing?

Obligees should bring:

  • the hearing notice;
  • the obligor's Social Security number, if the obligee has it;
  • the obligor's current address, if the obligee has it;
  • information about the obligor's employer, if the obligee has it;
  • information about the obligor's assets and other sources of income;
  • information about payments from lawsuits or other events; and
  • any court orders issued in the case, such as an order reducing or increasing child support payments.

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16: Before the court date, child support was paid in full. Will a hearing still be held?

Usually the hearing will be held anyway. There might still be issues that need to be addressed, such as making sure that regular payments are made in the future and that health insurance coverage is provided.

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17: What happens if the obligor does not show up for a child support enforcement hearing?

If the court is satisfied that the obligor received the notice for the hearing, a bench warrant might be issued for the obligor's arrest. In addition, a default order granting a request for enforcement can be entered by the court.

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18: If I receive welfare benefits for my child(ren), why is a hearing needed?

Even if you receive welfare benefits for your child(ren), the obligor still must pay child support. The money collected by Probation is sent to the county welfare agency to reimburse your monthly welfare payment.

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19: My child is over 18 years old. Am I still entitled to child support?

Under New Jersey law, you might be entitled to receive child and/or medical support up to your child’s 23rd birthday, if your child is in high school, enrolled full-time in college, vocational or graduate school, is disabled, or if you reach a separate agreement with the other parent. If you do not wish to have your court order monitored or enforced by Probation, you may file a motion/application in family court for a direct pay child support order at any time.

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20: My child is over 18 years old. Do I have to continue paying child support?

Under New Jersey law, child support obligations are terminated when the child turns 19 unless the court orders otherwise. Support payments must continue until an order is received stopping the support.

Learn more about Termination of Child Support

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21: My child is getting married. Do I have to continue paying child support?

Child support ends automatically when the child marries. Probation must be notified of the child’s marriage. Once the information has been confirmed, an order will be prepared to terminate the support obligation.

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22: My child joined the military. Do I have to continue paying child support?

Child support ends automatically when the child enters the military. Probation must be notified of the child joining the military. Once the information has been confirmed, an order will be prepared to terminate the support obligation.

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23: My child passed away. Do I have to continue paying child support?

Child support ends automatically when the child passes away. Probation must be notified of the passing. Once the information has been confirmed, an order will be prepared to terminate the support obligation.

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24: My child is disabled. Do I have to continue paying child support?

Child support obligations may be continued for children who are mentally or physically disabled and cannot support themselves. The obligee must file a motion/application to request this type of support.

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25: My child is in college. Do I have to continue paying child support?

Child support may be continued for children under the age of 23 who are attending school or vocational training full-time. The obligee must file a motion/application to request this type of support.

However, if you have been ordered by the court to pay child support, you must continue to do so until further order of the court. If you are in arrears in your payments, meaning you still have funds overdue when the child turns 19, you are still required to pay the outstanding amount.

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26: My child is not yet 19 but no longer requires parental support. Do I still have to pay child support?

The obligor can file a motion/application to have the child emancipated, which means the court declares the child financially independent of the parent.

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27: A lien was put on my property because of unpaid child support obligations. How can I have the lien removed?

Contact the local Probation office and ask about your judgment. In addition to any outstanding arrears, post-judgment interest may be owed. First, you must pay off any child support amounts that are in any arrears, and address any interest that may be outstanding. Then you can file a Warrant to Satisfy Judgment with the court. This set contains the forms and instructions.

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28: Do I need an attorney to represent me in my child support case?

You might choose to be represented by an attorney, but it is not required. If you wish to have an attorney, you may consult an attorney of your own choosing. If you need help in locating an attorney, try asking your local county bar association for a legal referral service phone number or check the NJ State Bar Association website for information on lawyer referral services.

If you feel you cannot afford a lawyer, you can contact Legal Services of New Jersey at 888-576-5529.

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29:I don’t speak English. Do I need to bring an interpreter for my court hearing?

Only a certified court interpreter can interpret for you at a court hearing. Contact Probation before your hearing. This will allow them to make arrangements in advance, instead of rescheduling the hearing.

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30:I have a hearing impairment. Do I need to bring a sign language interpreter?

Only a certified court interpreter can provide sign language interpretation in court. Contact Probation Services before your hearing. This will allow them to make arrangements in advance, instead of rescheduling the hearing.

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31: What if I need an ADA accommodation?

Contact Probation before your court hearing so that arrangements can be made.

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Termination of Child Support

Under New Jersey law, current child support orders end without the need for a hearing when:

  • The child reaches 19 years of age;
  • The child dies;
  • The child marries; or
  • The child enters military service.

When any of these termination events occur, documentation must be provided to Probation. If back child support is owed when the child support obligation terminates, the non-custodial parent still is responsible for paying off the arrears. Probation will continue to enforce the amount past due as an arrears only case. Both parties will be sent an updated order reflecting this change.

If no back child support is owed when the child support obligation terminates, both parties will be sent an updated order reflecting that the support obligation has ended as of the date of the termination event.

Continuation is possible if:

  • The child is under 23 years old and enrolled full-time in high school, college, vocational school or graduate school;
  • The child cannot support himself or herself because of a physical or mental disability that existed before age 19;
  • The parents reach a separate agreement; or
  • The court grants a continuation due to another reason.

Exceptions to the law:

  • There is a court order that states a different time that the child support should be terminated.
  • The child is placed outside the home by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families.
  • The custodial parent submits a written request and required proof before the child’s 19th birthday.

Arrears:

The Child Support Enforcement Unit will continue to monitor and enforce the collection of child support payments that remain outstanding even after the termination. If there are remaining arrears after the support order ends, the new arrears repayment amount will be a combination of the prior order and arrears payback amount.

Support for children over age 23:

    Child support ends when the child turns 23. If additional support is needed beyond age 23, the parent or the child can petition the court for another form of court-ordered financial support. This additional support is not enforceable through the Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit.

Call NJKiDS at 1-877-655-4371 for information about your child support case.

Requesting continuation of child support under the termination law

  • Both parents will receive a notice that child support and/or medical support are scheduled to end.  A second notice is sent 90 days later.
  • Only the obligee—the parent receiving child support—may submit a child support or medical support continuation request if the child meets one of the legal exceptions.
  • Follow the instructions on the notice to submit a written continuation request.
  • To be considered, the request must meet one of the exception criteria included on the Request for Continuation of Support form.
  • Six months before a child’s 19th birthday the parties are sent a notice that child support and/or medical support is scheduled to end. A second notice is sent 90 days later. The notice includes the date the support is scheduled to end and instructions about how to submit a written continuation request. The request must meet the guidelines on the Request for Continuation of Support form.
  • Either the obligor or the obligee may propose a different termination date by submitting an existing order, for example a judgment of divorce.
  • The continuation request is reviewed by Probation. If approved, an order is sent to the parties with a new termination date. Ninety days before the new termination date, a notice will be sent to the parties.
  • If the continuation request is denied, a notice is issued with the termination date and explanation.
  • Either party may file a motion to request a continuation for other exceptional circumstances or if the original continuation request is denied.
  • The obligor may file a motion/application to challenge an approved continuation request.
  • The termination or continuation process may proceed while the court action is being decided.
  • When there is no continuation request, no action by the parents is required. The termination automatically will take effect on the date in the notice.

How will I know the obligation to pay child support and/or medical support has stopped?

By phone: Call 1-877-NJKiDS1 (1-877-655-44371) automated line. This can only be done on a touch-tone phone. Have your child support case number ready.

Online: Go to Case Information. You will need your child support case number and your PIN.

Contact your local Probation customer service office; or

Both parties will receive a copy of the court order terminating support.

Check your paperwork to see if the termination date was included in a court order. Here are some examples:

  • A judgment of divorce may include a specific date or event when support will end.
  • A Termination of Child/Medical Support Obligation order includes a termination date.
  • When a case is closed, a Uniform Summary Support Order may be sent to both parties. The order includes a notation that the obligation to pay support has ended.

Intergovernmental Central Registry

Each state child support agency has a unit responsible for receiving, distributing, and responding to inquiries on child support cases involving other states, countries and tribes. In New Jersey, those cases are managed by the Intergovernmental Central Registry, a unit within the New Jersey Administrative Office of the New Jersey Courts, Office of Probation Services.

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) 2008

Under federal law, all states must have uniform procedures for processing child support cases from other states, countries and tribes.

Hague Convention

The United States is one of many countries that have agreed to uniform procedures for processing child support cases internationally under the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.

Read more about UIFSA and International Case Processing

Contact the Intergovernmental Central Registry:

Phone: 609-815-3820
Fax: 609-984-3630

By mail:

Administrative Office of the Courts
Probation Child Support Enforcement
P.O. Box 960
Trenton, NJ 08625

Glossary of Common Child Support Terms

Arrears – Past due, unpaid child support owed by the person ordered to pay support.

Assignment of Support Rights – People who receive public assistance agree to turn over their right to child support to the state in exchange for cash assistance and other benefits. In order to receive public assistance, you must agree to the assignment of your support.

Bench Warrant – An order from the court giving legal authority to law enforcement to arrest a person for failure to appear for a court hearing or failure to comply with a court order.

Child Support Number (also referred to as “CS Number”) – This is the identifying number assigned to your child support case.

Complaint – A formal document filed in court that starts a case. It typically includes the names of the parties, the issues and what you are asking the court to do.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) – Any child support order entered on or after Sept. 1, 1998, is automatically adjusted every two years. The adjustment is based on the consumer price index.

Court Order – The written decision issued by a court of law. A child support court order sets forth how often, how much, and what kind of support is to be paid.

Docket Number – The identifying number assigned to every case filed in the court.

Emancipation – The age when a child reaches financial independence.

Genetic Testing (DNA Testing) – A test used to determine the genetic makeup of the mother, father and child to establish legal paternity.

Income Withholding/Wage Withholding/Garnishment – A process in which automatic deductions are made from wages or other income to pay a child support obligation. Income withholding has been mandatory since the enactment of the Family Support Act of 1988.

Jurisdiction – The legal authority which a court or administrative agency has over particular persons and types of cases, usually in a defined geographical area.

Modification of a Court Order – Any change or adjustment to a previous order.

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines – A standard method for calculating child support based on the income of the parents and other factors. The full set of guidelines is contained in Rule 5:6A of the New Jersey Court Rules.

NJKiDS – The New Jersey Child Support Program automated computer system that tracks child support accounts.

Obligation – The amount of money to be paid as support and the frequency it is to be paid.

Obligee/Payee/CP – An individual or agency to whom support is owed. Also known as the custodial parent (CP) or payee.

Obligor/Payor/NCP – An individual who owes a financial and/or medical obligation. Also known as the non-custodial parent (NCP) or payor.

Offset – The amount of money taken from an obligor’s State or Federal income tax refund to satisfy a child support debt.

Ombudsman – A representative from Probation who can answer questions and provide information about probation and court procedures. The ombudsman cannot give legal advice or tell you what you should do about any court matter

Public Assistance – See Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) – Time-limited public assistance, also known as welfare payments, made to low income families that provide parents with job preparation, work, and support services to help them become self-sufficient. It was formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

Termination of Support – New Jersey law establishes 19 as the age when a child support and/or medical support obligation will end. Support may continue beyond 19 due to certain circumstances, it however cannot exceed the child’s 23rd birthday.

Triennial Review – Support orders are eligible for review and possible modification every three years by the board of social services.

Venue – The court in which the original case was brought.

Probation Child Support Client Services

Child Support Client Services ensures that child support customers receive timely responses to questions and complaints.

By phone:

If you are not satisfied with the quality of service that you have received on your case, call the New Jersey Family Support Services Center toll free Customer Service number, 1-877-NJKiDS (877-655-4371) . The automated phone system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to filing a complaint, you can obtain child support case information such as payments, case balance, court dates and results, debit card information, request forms, payment options, and how to apply for child support services.

Online:

You also can visit the New Jersey Child Support website at www.njchildsupport.org for additional information and case updates.

By mail:

The Probation Child Support Client Service also can be contacted if you have a complaint or inquiry about the quality of service you have received. Your concerns must be stated in writing, which will help explain your issue, give you a written record, and make it easier for staff to investigate your issue and try to resolve your complaint.

The following information should be included in your correspondence:

  • Your name, address and daytime phone number
  • Your child support case number
  • A description of the nature of the complaint, issue or question to be answered
  • The name or names of the individuals who are the subject of the complaint (if applicable)
  • Any other information such as dates of prior communication or documentation that may assist probation staff.

When you write to the Probation Child Support Client Service, send copies, not originals, because submitted materials will not be returned. You should keep a copy of any correspondence you send to us. If you prefer, you may fax your writing and supporting documentation to 609-984-3630.

For cases in which both parents reside in New Jersey, use this address:

Administrative Office of the Courts
Probation Child Support Enforcement
P.O. Box 976
Trenton, NJ 08625

For cases in which one or both parents reside outside of New Jersey, use this address:

Administrative Office of the Courts
Probation Child Support Enforcement
P.O. Box 960
Trenton, NJ 08625

Please note that due to State and Federal regulations governing the confidentiality of child support information, child support case related information may not be disclosed to third parties such as a current spouse, family member or friend, attorney, or elected official, except as authorized by law, court order, or written authorization by a party to the case. Confidential information includes any personal or case-related information about a customer, including but not limited to, Social Security number, address or other location information, and income information.

It is our goal to resolve all matters as quickly and efficiently as possible, however, response times will vary from case to case. At the conclusion of our investigation, you will be notified in writing of the outcome of our investigation into your complaint or inquiry.

You may also contact your local Probation Customer Service Office if you have a complaint or inquiry about the quality of service you have received. You can contact your local office in person, by phone, or by mail or by fax.

Local Customer Service Offices

Other Child Support Enforcement Resources

Warrant to Satisfy Judgment - Child Support

Complete this form and file with the court to have a child support lien removed from your property after all of your child support obligations have been paid.

Your Guide to the New Jersey Judiciary Child Support Enforcement Program

This guide provides definitions of common child support terms, actions the courts will take to ensure that child support payments are made, and information on how to ask the court to change the amount of a support order.

A Lawyer's Guide to Child Support Services in New Jersey

This guide goes offers detailed information about the laws and the child support procedures needed by lawyers to represent their clients.

NJChildSupport.org

The following forms and services are available at this site:

  • Applying for Child Support
    Learn about the process for applying for child support.
  • Automated Phone System Quick Navigation Guide
    This guide provides tips for using the 24/7 automated phone system to get information such as payments, case balance, and upcoming court dates.
  • Child Support Payment Options
    Child support payments can be made to the State Disbursement Payment Center or by credit card, and in person at certain store locations.
  • Direct Deposit Program
    The New Jersey Child Support Program has a direct deposit program. Direct deposit means that support payments that individuals currently receive by check may be deposited directly into their bank accounts. Direct deposit makes receiving support payments faster and easier.
  • Direct Deposit Form

Additional Resources

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development can help with unemployment, disability, job training and employer regulations.

New Jersey Career Connections

New Jersey Career Connections can help you find a job in order to meet your child support obligations.

New Jersey Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services can help with other services such as support for individuals with disabilities, child care needs, healthcare, and catastrophic medical expenses for children.

Birth Certificates

During the process of establishment of a support order, a copy of a birth certificate may be requested from the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry.

EPPICard

If you do not receive your support payments via direct deposit, your payments will be distributed to a stored value card administered by EPPICard.

Office of Child Support Enforcement

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) partners with federal, state, tribal and local governments and others to promote parental responsibility so that children receive support from both parents even when they live in separate households. They are the federal government agency responsible for monitoring all of the state child support programs.

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