Locating Missing Parents Who Owe Child Support in New Jersey

Even with a court order, collecting child support payments can be difficult when the whereabouts of a non-custodial parent are unknown. Fortunately for New Jersey parents who are owed back payments, the state's child support program has a number of tools designed to help locate non-custodial parents and collect child support payments from them, whether they live in New Jersey or elsewhere.

The more information the custodial parent can provide about the missing non-custodial parent, the easier he or she will be to locate in state and national databases.

Helpful information might include family documents such as birth, marriage or divorce certificates, as well as financial papers like tax returns, bank accounts or insurance papers. Other personal information about the non-paying parent, such as his or her Social Security number, last known address, and the names of any other relatives, can also aid in the search.

Enforcing Interstate Child Support Orders

Under a federal law called the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, or UIFSA, a New Jersey child support order is enforceable even if the non-custodial parent lives in another state.

The UIFSA requires employers in other states to comply with income-withholding orders issued in New Jersey, which can divert part of an employee's paycheck to pay child support he or she owes. This makes it easier to collect child support from across state lines and prevents the non-custodial parent from moving to another state to avoid making payments.

The UIFSA also protects children and custodial parents by limiting where and how child support orders can be modified, and by ensuring that only one child support order is in effect at a time. This prevents a practice known as "forum shopping" in which a parent goes from one court to another in search of a more desirable child support order.

Legal Help is Available

If you have an order for child support and have had trouble collecting payment, a family law attorney with experience in child support enforcement can help you navigate the New Jersey child support system and fight for the support your child needs.