COVID-19 Impacts to NJ Child Support Program

The Child Support Program would like you to know that health and safety is our first priority. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to inform you of the following:
 
Child Support payments continue to be processed.
The New Jersey Family Support Services Center is available from 9am to 5pm and is experiencing extremely long call wait times. Case information is still accessible 24/7 via the mobile app, online at caseinfo.njchildsupport.org and the Interactive Voice Response System.
The New Jersey Family Support Payment Center continues to print and mail checks.
Cash payments will no longer be accepted at local offices effective Monday, March 23.
All online and retailer payment options remain available for customers.
Enforcement of Relief to Litigants Rights hearings from 3/16/20 - 4/3/20 are cancelled.
Bench Warrant hearings shall be conducted using telephonic and video technology to the greatest extent possible.
Child support proceedings are being conducted by phone or video conference to the greatest extent possible. 
Please check https://www.njcourts.gov/courts/index.html?lang=eng to contact your local courthouse for hearing schedules.
Please contact your local social services agency to check for potential office closures.
Court filings mailed in and filed through eCourts will still be accepted with the required fee.
Requests for continuation of child support in response to a termination notice continue to be processed.
The Employer Services Center remains available for employers.
Appointments for genetic testing at LabCorp will continue to be scheduled.
The Paternity Opportunity Program remains available for customer inquiries.

 

Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19

Q: If my employer closes business operations due to the Governor’s Executive Order and I become unemployed, am I still required to pay the current child support obligation amount?
A: We understand that you may be experiencing financial hardship, however, you are still responsible for the child support obligation. If you are in need of social service assistance, information can be found by visiting www.njhelps.org or dialing 2-1-1. Please note that there are job postings available on https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov as well as information on unemployment insurance at https://myunemployment.nj.gov.

Q: I typically make my child support payments in cash via my local child support office in my county. Now that the local court offices are closed to the public, how will I be able to make a cash payment?
A: The only payment method no longer available is cash at local offices. All other in-person retailer and online options remain unchanged. Please see all available payment options for more information.

Q: If I cannot make a cash payment will I be penalized?
A: Please understand that you are still responsible for the child support obligation. All other in-person retailer and online payment options are still available.

Q: In the event the State of New Jersey operations shut down will payments made by noncustodial parents still be processed?
A: Payments are still being processed without delay.

Q: When can I expect a returned call from my case worker?
A: Please allow 5-7 business days for a call to be returned as case workers are mainly working remotely. If you do not hear back from anyone within that timeframe, please reach back out to us.

Q: If the noncustodial parent fails to make payments during the COVID-19 crisis, will a bench warrant be issued for non-payment?
A: Cases will be reviewed on a case by case basis, however please note that capacity for enforcement is reduced at this time. The status of a bench warrant can always be found online or by calling the NJFSSC at 1-877-NJKiDS1.

Q: Can the noncustodial parent file a motion if they become unemployed due to COVID-19 crisis?
A: A noncustodial parent can file a motion or application. Please note that while the court is still accepting filings with the required fee, your hearing date may be delayed and you are still responsible for the child support obligation.

Q: I have to submit my continuation forms with the school verification; however my child’s school or college is closed and I cannot get the required documents. Will my case terminate?
A: Most schools still have an administrative presence so you should still reach out to request the documentation. The National Student Clearinghouse remains available for participating schools at a fee although there may be a delayed response. If a request for continuation is received that is invalid, the obligation may terminate.

Q: I have a scheduled Enforcement of Relief to Litigants Rights (ELR) hearing. Will this still take place?
A: Please check https://www.njcourts.gov/courts/index.html?lang=eng to contact the court beforehand as the hearing will likely take place telephonically. Updating your contact information will also help ensure that we have your correct contact information.

Q: I have a scheduled modification hearing with Family court; will this still take place?
A: Please check https://www.njcourts.gov/courts/index.html?lang=eng to contact the court beforehand as the hearing will likely take place telephonically. Updating your contact information will also help ensure that we have your correct contact information.

Q: Can I request enforcement of my order?
A: Cases will be reviewed on a case by case basis, however please note that capacity for enforcement is reduced at this time.

Q: I lost my job due to the COVID-19 crisis and I filed for unemployment. Will the child support garnishment amount be the same now that my income has been reduced?
A: The garnishment amount remains the same, as does your child support obligation amount. Please note that it takes several pay periods for a new garnishment to start deducting from Unemployment and that you remain responsible for paying this obligation ON TIME as well as any difference between the garnishment amount and obligation amount if the garnishment amount is now lower than your child support obligation amount.

Q: If my case has a two missed payment stipulation, what happens if the noncustodial parent fails to make payments?
A: The noncustodial parent is still responsible for payment. Cases will be reviewed on a case by case basis, however please note that capacity for enforcement is reduced at this time.

Q: Is the New Jersey Child Support Program still enforcing cases with the COVID-19 crisis?
A: Yes, cases will be reviewed on a case by case basis, however please note that capacity for enforcement is reduced at this time.
Please check back for updates as the situation evolves. Unless noted otherwise, these revised procedures will remain in effect until such time as it is determined by the Governor that an emergency no longer exists and business operations may return to normal.
 
We know that parents typically know their children best. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. However, don’t avoid giving them the information that health experts identify as critical to ensuring your children’s health. Please refer to the below guidance for helpful information about Coronavirus and children:
 
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. The Child Support Program is committed to helping families and will continue to do so to the best of our ability. Stay safe and healthy.