CHILD SUPPORT PROGRAMS IN THE
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
The New Jersey Child Support Program has made changes to
improve its customer service to the families of New Jersey. These improvements
allow customers greater access to case information, court information and the
ability to make payments securely, through an automated PIN process, and
efficiently through enhanced website and phone systems. The improved Interactive
Voice Response System and website will also assist customers accessing
additional family support services. New Jersey Child support customers will also
be able to speak to a Child Support Representative from the expanded hours of 8
a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Customers may also access enhanced
customer services by calling 1-877-NJKIDS1 (1-877-655-4371) or through the
WHAT ARE CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES?
Child support services include: locating the parent who has a duty to support
your child(ren), legally determining if that person is actually the parent of
your child(ren), entering an order for child support and medical support,
collecting the support payments, keeping an accurate record of all payments and
enforcing the order if the parent fails to pay as ordered.
WHO PROVIDES THESE SERVICES?
In New Jersey, the Division of Family Development (the State Child Support
Agency), county welfare agencies, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the
Family Division of the Superior Court, county probation divisions, and Sheriff’s
Departments all work together to provide support services to your family.
WHO CAN GET THESE SERVICES?
You can get child support services if you live in New Jersey, are the parent or
legal guardian and the custodial parent of the child(ren).
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THESE SERVICES?
There is no fee charged if you are receiving or applying for public assistance.
If you are not receiving public assistance, there is a small fee to offset the
WHO IS THE CUSTODIAL PARENT?
The custodial parent is the parent who has custody of the child(ren) and who has
filed for support services. Grandparents, relatives or other guardians of the
child(ren) may also be the custodial parent if they have custody and have filed
for support services.
WHO IS THE NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT?
The non-custodial parent is the person who has a duty to support the child(ren)
and who is ordered to pay support either to the custodial parent or through the
probation divisions for the child(ren).
WHAT DOES THE COUNTY WELFARE AGENCY DO?
The county welfare agency’s child support unit works to locate the non-custodial
parent and to establish paternity and support. If you are applying for or
receiving TANF, you must cooperate with the child support unit to be eligible
for assistance. Failure to cooperate will render you ineligible for any
WHAT DOES THE PROBATION DIVISION DO?
By law, the probation division must enforce the orders of the court, including
orders for child support and alimony. The probation division usually handles the
case only after a support order is entered. All support orders are paid through
the probation division unless the court orders otherwise.
WHAT DOES FAMILY COURT DO?
The Family Court Intake Units are responsible for docketing and scheduling cases
for court where a complaint has been filed to establish, enforce or modify a
child support order. In some counties they will also conduct a consent
HOW ARE PAYMENTS MADE?
The court will order that all support payments be made through the probation
division. If an order was entered before February 17, 2005, the probation
division in the county where the non-custodial parent resides is responsible for
monitoring and enforcement. Effective February 17, 2005, monitoring and
enforcement remains with the probation division where the order was entered.
Questions regarding enforcement or payment should be directed to probation. If
the non-custodial parent pays through Somerset, Middlesex or Mercer Probation,
questions must be directed to the new Call Center at 1-877-655-4371. All other
probation divisions may be contacted directly. If you receive TANF, payments
that are made will be sent to the county welfare agency to reimburse them for
the assistance they pay to you. Each month that the non-custodial parent pays
his/her support order, you will receive up to $50 of the amount paid on the
current support in addition to your TANF check. This is called the Child Support
HOW WILL I KNOW IF PAYMENTS ARE BEING MADE?
You may get this information each month by calling the Automated Child Support
Hotline at 1-800-621-KIDS. You must have your child support case number to get
this information and must be calling from a push button phone. The Hotline also
has general information about the child support program and the services it
provides. The Hotline is available in both English and Spanish, 24 hours a day,
seven (7) days a week.
HOW DOES THE COURT SET THE AMOUNT OF MY CHILD SUPPORT?
The amount of support is set by using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.
The support amount is based on the income of both parents.
WHAT IF THE NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT DOESN’T PAY?
If the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay, the probation division will take steps
to enforce the order. These may include requiring the non-custodial parent’s
employer to take money out of his/her pay, having the past due support taken out
of the non-custodial parent’s state and federal tax refund or returning the
matter to court for enforcement.
DOES MY SUPPORT ORDER AUTOMATICALLY END WHEN MY CHILD(REN) REACH AGE 18?
No. There is no fixed age in New Jersey when support automatically stops. Once
your child turns 18 or otherwise becomes financially independent either you or
the non-custodial parent must file papers with the court asking that the order
be terminated or changed. Based on the facts, the court will decide if the child
no longer needs support from the parents. This is known as “emancipation.”
WILL THE AMOUNT OF MY CHILD SUPPORT ALWAYS REMAIN THE SAME?
Federal and State laws require that all child support orders be reviewed every
three (3) years for possible adjustment. While you are receiving TANF, the
county welfare agency is responsible for reviewing the case. If you are not
receiving TANF, you may request your case be reviewed by the welfare agency in
the county where your order was originally venued.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS THE CUSTODIAL PARENT:
In order for the Child Support Agency (CSA) to help you properly, you must:
Provide available information and documentation at the time of application to
assist us in handling your case and immediately inform the CSA of any new or
Supply accurate identifying and location information on the non-custodial
Complete all documents as requested and required for the CSA to establish and/or
enforce a support order.
Appear for genetic tests as requested (if you need to have paternity established
for your child).
Appear and testify at court hearings if necessary.
Appear at the designated CSA office upon request to provide written or verbal
Notify the CSA immediately if there is a change in your address, telephone
number or the custody of your child(ren).
The information provided by you or otherwise collected by the CSA is
confidential and subject to state and federal safeguarding requirements.
You are personally liable for the return of any amounts paid in error and
received by you. The CSA has the right to adjust future support payments to
recoup any amounts that are overpaid or sent to you in error.
If you receive any support payments directly from the non-custodial parent,
another state CSA, the non-custodial parent’s estate, the satisfaction of a lien
or from any other legal mechanism, you must agree to send such payments to the
NJ CSA. (Direct payments are child support monies sent to you without going
through the CSA).
OTHER INFORMATION ON SERVICES:
The Child Support Agency selects the enforcement technique based on the quality
and availability of case information and state law. A custodial parent cannot
choose which remedy will be used to enforce child support orders.
THE CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO:
handle matters involving visitation, custody, or property
prepare and sign papers on your behalf (for example, bankruptcy claims,
requests to emancipate a child)
Only the Superior Court can take such actions.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Please contact the
Child Support Unit at...
Somerset County Board of
73 East High Street
Somerville, NJ 08876
610 Franklin Blvd
Somerset NJ 08873