Common Child Support Questions

Written By Gary J. Natale

Despite the state of New Jersey having strict guidelines for determining the amount of proper child support, there are many issues that come up between spouses over the things that should be included in the child support amount. In addition, there are many questions as to the process of setting accurate amounts, requesting modifications and paying or receiving child support. Here’s a brief overview of some common child support questions.

How Do I Apply For Child Support?

Any parent or individual who holds custody of a child may apply for child support.You can find and download an application for child support services here: https://application.njchildsupport.org

How Is The Amount Of My Child Support Determined?

The court is responsible for determining the proper amount of support based on the NJ child support guidelines. The starting point is considering the income of both parents as well as the average amount spent by intact families for their children. There are many other factors taken into consideration including, but not limited to, the specific needs of the child, each parent’s earning ability, the health and age of the child and each parent and prior support obligations for other children.

Is There A Way To Change The Amount Of My Child Support?

Yes. There are times when circumstances change that require review and modification of the child support amount. Parents can request to have their order reviewed at least every three years or when circumstances are sufficient to warrant a review. Keep in mind that New Jersey law does require that there is adequate proof of “change of circumstances”.

What Happens If One Parent Does Not Pay Child Support?

Unfortunately, there are situations where one parent does not pay their child support. A party or attorney is able to file for  enforcement through the Probation Department, who will then take steps to see that the original order is enforced. This may involve garnishing the payor’s wages, taking the past-due amount from other sources of income (such as a tax refund) or even returning the child support case to court.

How is child support collected?

Most often, the Probation Department will collect the support payments through wage garnishment. Once the payment is received, Probation will forward the support to the spouse with custody of the child.

Can a person be arrested if a parent does not pay child support?

Simply stated – yes. There are many other actions of increasing severity that a court may and will take to see that the support amount is paid including suspending the payor’s driver’s license or professional license, reporting the lack of payment to credit bureaus, or placing a lien on real estate.

If support is still unpaid, a bench warrant can be issued for the arrest of the payor, who in some cases will not be released until the amount is paid.

Natale – Understanding Child Support Advocacy

Every child is entitled to proper support from his parents, but properly determining the amount of that support can often be met with resistance or inaccurate representation of income. At the Law Offices of Gary J. Natale, P.C., we work to effectively represent our clients’rights to accurate and fair child support amounts. Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here.