The New Jersey Office of Child Support Services wishes to thank the men and women of the military that serve our country.
Do you have a child support order and have recently been called up to active duty?
Many of you may be involved with New Jersey Child Support Program as either a custodial parent or noncustodial parent. You may have an order to receive child support or you may be ordered to pay child support. The following information is provided to address how your child support order may be affected by your call to active duty.
Handbook for Military Families
As a service member, or spouse or former spouse of one, you have unique child support needs. All branches of the armed forces offer parenting programs and resources to strengthen military families. This handbook supplements those resources by providing information you might need regarding paternity establishment, child support, access/visitation, and child custody.
For further assistance with your child support case, please contact 1-877-NJKIDS1 (1-877-655-4371). The Handbook for Military Families can be accessed at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/programs/css/
Notification of Change of Address & Employment
If you have been called to active duty AND have a child support order, YOU MUST notify your local child support office of your new information, including your military branch, date of activation, and new address. This applies whether you are a custodial or non-custodial parent.
Support Order Modification
In some instances, your military service activation may make you eligible for a change in your child support order during your time of service. If you feel that you qualify, you may ask the court to modify your order by filing a motion to modify. You have the option to do this by yourself (pro se), through an attorney, or possibly through military legal assistance. By contacting the Probation Division Child Support Customer Service Office handling your child support case, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Probation Child Support Customer Service Call Center, or the Administrative Office of the Courts, Family Division, you may be able to avoid the risk of having your wage withholding payments stopped or recorded as delinquent.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
If you are called to active duty, you are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly called the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act. The purpose of the SCRA is to allow United States military personnel to devote their full attention to the defense of our nation by temporarily suspending judicial and administrative civil proceedings that may impact their rights For more information about the SCRA please visit:
Medical Support for Children of Service Members
If your child support order includes health care coverage for your child, you may also be eligible to obtain coverage through the military health benefits plan (TRICARE or DEERS). You may wish to discuss this with your commanding officer. Military insurance information can be found at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/
Your call to active military duty may require you to obtain a valid passport prior to deployment. if you owe $5,000 or more in past-due child support, your passport may be denied until you make arrangements for paying off the obligation.
Toolkit for military families with young children
Talk, Listen, Connect offers strategies and resources to help children through difficult periods of transition and separation that can come with military service. One resource is a website, Military Families Near and Far, where military families can create, communicate, and stay connected.