Knowing the Language of Child Support Can Help Improve the Chances of a Positive Result in Court
Just like any other specialized area of the law, New Jersey child support matters utilize unique terminology with which all child support litigants should familiarize themselves before setting foot in the courtroom. We do our best here at the DeMichele & DeMichele blog to explain key child support terms and concepts for our readership's benefit. Here are some important child support definitions worth internalizing directly from the New Jersey judiciary's official website: Court Terms Used in FD Cases Arrears: Arrears are unpaid or overdue child support, alimony, or spousal support payments. Application: An application is a written request in which you ask the court to issue an order or to change an order that has already been issued. Bench Warrant: A bench warrant is an order from the court giving legal authority to law enforcement to arrest a person for failure to appear for a court hearing or failure to comply with a court order. Certification: A certification is a written statement made to the court when you file papers with the court, swearing that the information contained in the filed papers is true. Child Support Number (also referred to as “CS Number”): The Child Support Number is the identifying number assigned to your child, spousal, or alimony support case. Complaint: A complaint is a formal document filed in court that starts a case. It typically includes the names of the parties and the issues you are asking the court to decide. Court Order: A court order is the written decision issued by a court of law. For example, a child support court order sets forth how often, how much, and what kind of support is to be paid. Docket Number: The docket number is the identifying number assigned to every case filed in the court. Exhibits: Exhibits are written documents you provide to the court to support what you want the court to decide. FD: The letters the court uses to indentify a Non-dissolution case that involves parents who are not legally married or other adults filing for court relief on behalf of minor children. FD also includes married people who separate but need financial support. File: To file means to give the appropriate forms to the court to begin the court's consideration of your request Income Withholding/Wage Garnishment: Income Withholding/Wage Garnishment is a process where automatic deductions are made from wages or other income to pay your support obligation. Income withholding has been mandatory since the enactment of the Family Support Act of 1988. New Jersey Child Support Guidelines: Both parents are responsible for the financial and emotional support of their children. New Jersey has developed a standard method for calculating child support based on the income of both parents and other factors. The full set of NJ Child Support Guidelines is contained in Rule 5:6A of the New Jersey Court Rules. NJKiDS (New Jersey Kids Deserve Support): NJKiDS is the New Jersey Child Support automated computer system that tracks child support accounts. Obligor/Payor: An obligor/payor is the person ordered by the court to pay support, also known as the non-custodial parent (NCP). Obligee/Payee: An obligee/payee is the person, agency, or institution who receives support, also known as the custodial parent (CP). Kit Revised: 02/01/2013, CN 11487 (How to File an FD Application/Cross Application to Modify a Court Order) page 7 of 16 Party: A party is a person, business, or governmental agency involved in a court action. Petitioner: Petitioner is another name for the person starting the court action by filing the appropriate papers the court will consider. Respondent: Respondent is another name for the person who is named as the other party in the court action filed by the petitioner. This person can answer the petitioner by filing a cross application or written response with the court. Relief: To ask for relief is to ask the court to grant something such as custody, parenting time, or support. Support Obligation: Support Obligation is the amount of support that the court orders the obligor to pay. The court order includes how much and how often support has to be paid (i.e., per week, per month, bi-weekly, etc.). Support Enforcement: The Probation Division is required to enforce court orders that call for the payment of child support, health care coverage, and/or spousal support/alimony. If support is not being paid timely, Probation Support Enforcement has many state and federal tools available to enforce child support orders. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Income withholding
- Court hearing
- Bench warrant
- Tax offset – federal and state
- Judgment (liens attached to property & assets)
- Credit bureau notification
- Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) – seizure of bank accounts
- Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) – seizure of proceeds from law suits
- Passport denial
- License suspension
- Lottery interception
Of course, knowing the lingo is only step #1 towards making sure that there's an accurate and equitable child support calculation in your case. And experience New Jersey child support attorney can help you understand the ins and outs of child support law including but definitely not limited to the circumstances where the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines actually apply, how x-factors like daycare, public benefits, emancipation, arrears, cost of living increases, college, extracurricular activities, jail and unemployment/underemployment affect a child support obligation, and even the various ways by which a child support obligation is collected once it's been determined. Take the next step. If you have specific questions involving the calculation of a child support obligation, then please don't hesitate to contact the South Jersey child support attorneys at DeMichele and DeMichele. Call (856) 546-1350 today to schedule your confidential consultation with an experienced child support and family law attorney.
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