Understanding NJ Child Support Payment Start Dates

Explore the Journey of Child Support in New Jersey, From the Moment an Order Is Issued to the Eventual Payment Process.

NJ Child Support Timeline: From Order to Payment in New JerseyDivorce is a long, painful process for the spouses and their children.  No one starts a family with the intent of separation in the future.  Child custody and support are the two topics that are the most difficult to resolve in the divorce process.  Some parents see it as a way to punish their co-parent by requesting a large support payment.  However, the purpose of child support is to provide the child with the same standard of living as possible while residing with the custodial parent.

New Jersey Family Court uses Child Support Guidelines, which provide a fair and consistent way of determining the amount of child support to be paid by considering the parents’ net income and the number of overnight visits the child has with each parent.  These guidelines can be adjusted to the unique circumstances of each family.

Child support is intended to account for the child’s needs, such as housing, medical and dental care, education, extracurricular activities, field trips, clothes, technology (such as cell phones or tablets for school), entertainment, and other necessary expenses.

When Should the Payments Start Following a Child Support Order?

After the court signs the child support order, the non-custodial parent will receive it.  The order lists the amount to be paid, when the payments begin, and where the payments should be sent. The non-custodial parent’s employer will be notified to withhold the payment amount and send it to the NJFSPC (New Jersey Family Support Payment Center).  A support order can take two weeks to 90 days after it is entered.

Common Causes of Delay in Child Support Collection

Several circumstances can delay child support collection.  If paternity hasn’t been established or the non-custodial parent cannot be reached, it could take longer for the child support payments to begin. The NCP (non-custodial parent) must be served with a summons, and if their notification is hindered or delayed, the process will be slowed down.  If the NCP is incarcerated and has no income, child support cannot be established. If the NCP misses settlement conferences or child support hearings, those meetings must be rescheduled, which could delay the creation of the support order and its enforcement. Additionally, if the court cannot verify the income of the NCP, it isn’t easy to calculate the amount of support to be ordered.

Disagree with Your Child Support Amount in NJ?

If the NCP disagrees with the child support determination, they are entitled to file an appeal in the Family Part of New Jersey Superior Court (also known as Family Court). The original support order and calculations used for the original support amount will be reviewed. This detailed process doesn’t require legal representation, but having a child support attorney would undoubtedly be an advantage.

Finding a Missing Non-Custodial Parent for Child Support

The best way to locate the NCP is to get as much information about them as possible: their SSN, last known address, friends, family members, coworkers, employers, last work address, assets such as vehicles or property, and their date of birth.  The Child Support Agency, a branch of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, offers free help finding an NCP who owes child support.  They can contact credit reporting agencies, public assistance programs such as Medicaid, the U.S. Postal Service, and utility companies to find the co-parent.  At the federal level, the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), a division of the Department of Health & Human Services, also compiles data that the state can use to find the missing parent.

If the NCP has moved to a different state, you can go to the other state and request that they enforce the child support obligation. This involves filing a petition with the local court, providing evidence of the child support order, and demonstrating that the NCP is not meeting their obligations. The process can take several months to complete, but the more information you can provide, the better. This option ensures that the child support order remains enforceable, regardless of the NCP’s location.

Streamlining Child Support in New Jersey

The easiest way to request and process child support is when the parents agree to the terms of support and the parenting plan. This involves drafting a support agreement that outlines the amount and frequency of the support payments, as well as the responsibilities of each parent. Divorcing couples who can put their hurt feelings aside and devise an equitable and realistic support agreement can quickly set the wheels in motion.  Frequently, mediation is a helpful tool to create a support agreement.  It is about coming together to determine how best to meet the children’s needs.

Designated Timeframe for the Initiation of Payments Subsequent to the Issuance of a Child Support Order in Rumson, NJThe custodial parent should gather as much financial information about the non-custodial parent as possible.  This can include bank statements, stocks, ownership of assets such as vehicles, boats, or property, and a verifiable monthly income.  It is also vital to have accurate personal information, such as the NCP’s contact information and where they are employed.  Health insurance information, proof of income or benefits, the NCP’s W-2 form, unemployment benefits, outstanding debts, and evidence of household expenses will give the court a more explicit financial panorama. This information is crucial for the court to make an accurate determination of the child support amount.

Hiring an attorney is another way to streamline the child support process.  An attorney can provide a stage where there is honest dialogue, and the financial needs of the child are the priority.

How Can a Lawyer at Our Firm Assist with any Child Support Related Issues in New Jersey?

Requesting child support or entering into an agreement can be difficult and confusing for those unfamiliar with the process.  Miscalculations, improperly completed forms, and other errors can affect the support your child is entitled to. Also, an attorney at The Bronzino Law Firm can mediate a custody agreement between you and the co-parent to prevent it from dragging out longer than necessary.

We pride ourselves on our personal relationship with each of our clients in Marlboro, Red Bank, Freehold, Manalapan, Brick, Jackson, Monmouth Beach, Middletown, Lavallette, and across the Jersey Shore. Our child support lawyers go the extra mile to achieve the best possible outcome through meticulous attention to detail, hard work, and a good dose of empathy.  Divorce is never easy, so our experience and impeccable knowledge of family law are key to helping you through this difficult point in your life.

Call us today at (732) 812-3102 or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your child support issue.