New Jersey parents who were never married as well as those who have gotten divorced may sometimes find themselves in situations in which one parent is either failing to pay court-ordered child support or needs help in obtaining an initial child support order. A parent who has custody of a child may benefit by seeking help through the local child support office.
In some cases, paternity of a child has not been established. In order for a mother whose child lives with her to establish the paternity of an unmarried father, the father either has to sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or the office will help by genetic testing of the child and the potential father. When the parents were married, the man is presumed to be the father of the child without any necessary testing.
The state will also help locate a parent whose address is unknown. The state will set child support amounts according to state guidelines that determine the amount to be ordered according to the relative income of the parties and the child's needs. In addition to child support, the parent will also be ordered to provide medical support for the child. If the parent already has an order but fails to pay, the state can help by seeking an enforcement action against the delinquent parent.
In addition to getting help from the state's child support program, parents may also receive assistance with obtaining a new child support order, getting a modification of an existing one or seeking enforcement by retaining the services of a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to help by filing motions, drafting paperwork and representing the clients' interests in court. Attorneys may also help by filing motions to modify existing orders.
Source: New Jersey Child Support Agency, "Child Support: it's More Than Just Money", November 06, 2014